Parliamentary Questions - Written Replies

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LITERACY: Four million adults in England and Wales have 'real difficulty' with everyday tasks involving reading, writing and spelling, Tim Boswell, education minister, disclosed. A further 1.5 million have difficulty with numerical skills.

CANNABIS: Austin Mitchell (Lab, Great Grimsby) asked whether the Government would commission research into the effects, consequences and benefits of the medical use of cannabis as a muscle relaxant and treatment for nausea. Tom Sackville, health minister, said: 'We have no plans to commission such research.'

SOFT DRINKS: Rules requiring the adding of a minimum amount of sugar in the manufacture of soft drinks are to be abolished in the light of current dietary advice on reducing sugar intake, Nicholas Soames, agriculture minister, said.