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Explanatory Memorandum to Food Benefit Schemes (Northern Ireland) Order 2003


5.In Great Britain proposals for a new scheme, which were shaped by the COMA  review and by consultation with health professionals and users of the scheme, were issued for public consultation in October 2002.  In Northern Ireland, the Department issued the Great Britain consultation document “Healthy Start” in November 2002 for a three month consultation period.  The document was issued to over 300 interested organisations and included all Northern Ireland political parties, Assembly Members and the Health Committee.

6.Responses were received from 44 organisations and individuals. In addition five focus groups were held across Northern Ireland.  The majority of respondents supported the reform of the current scheme. Concerns were raised by the dairy industry about the consequences of changes for door-step deliveries of milk.  A summary of the responses is available on the Department’s website:

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