Happy Monday! It’s Day 336 of Lockdown, and I hope you managed to have a proper break over the weekend. Spring is definitely on the way now, the lapwings are back on the moor, and the skylarks have been singing their hearts out since Thursday last week.
Good news! On Friday, we learned that Raheel Mizra’s online simultaneous cooking attempt had achieved the World Record, see the moment he found out https://twitter.com/BBCTheOneShow/status/1362846529497817102. Congratulations to everyone who participated, including Vikki Binns from Meridian Biotechnology, and Mick Wragg from Lubrizol.
On Saturday, I managed to catch up with my friend Sandra, who used to work with me. We met up in a park and went for a socially distanced walk, and it was lovely to see how thrilled she was with the coffee cake I’d baked for her and her husband Michael (it’s his favourite). It was really nice for me just to take some time on a rainy Saturday morning to make something, I even tried my hand at piping the icing! (I’m still not going to apply for Bake Off though).
Aaron Turrall of FSi had messaged me on LinkedIn while I was baking, and when I mentioned what I was doing, he thought it was a great idea, so if he sends through his vegan recipe we can pass on both recipes, probably next week (I do like to test most of the recipes I pass on – that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it).
Ah well, back to work!
Important – transfer of Authorisations and related information deadline is 1st March (next Monday)
Alun Williams of DEFRA writes:
On 1 January 2021 Defra put in place a new domestic chemicals regulatory regime, including UK REACH. Measures have been put in place to mitigate the costs and impacts to business as they transition from EU REACH to UK REACH. There are two impending deadlines for businesses.
If you were a GB-based holder of an existing authorisation (i.e. where you applied and the European Commission has granted an authorisation decision before the end of the Transition Period), your existing EU authorisation has been carried over (‘grandfathered’) into UK REACH. This includes the review period and any conditions attached to the authorisation. Grandfathering will not incur a fee from the Agency (HSE).
You are required, within 60 days of the end of the Transition Period (1 March 2021), to supply the Agency (HSE) with technical information relating to the authorisation to enable the effective management and enforcement of the authorised substance. The required technical information is:
· – the information included in the application for the authorisation;
· – any other information provided to ECHA by the applicant for the authorisation which was material to the formation of ECHA’s opinion; and
· – any information required to be submitted or recorded before the end of the Transition Period under any condition under which the authorisation is granted.
This information should be submitted by e-mail in IUCLID 6 format to firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject “GB-based holder of an existing EU Authorisation”.
For more information please go to https://www.hse.gov.uk/reach/grandfathering-authorisation.htm .
If you are a GB-based downstream user of an existing EU REACH authorisation held by a UK or an EU/EEA company (i.e. the European Commission has granted an authorisation decision before the end of the transition period), you will be able to continue to use that substance in accordance with that authorisation now that the Transition Period has ended, providing, by 1 March 2021, that you confirm to HSE that you are:
– an existing authorised downstream user under EU law in relation to the substance, and
– the existing EU authorisation number;
– any conditions set out in the existing EU authorisation;
– the identity of the supplier of the substance.
This information should be submitted by e-mail to email@example.com using the subject ‘GB-based DU of an existing EU authorisation (Art 127h)’.
For more information please go to https://www.hse.gov.uk/reach/authorisation127h.htm .
The above information has been drawn from existing technical guidance content. For more detailed information please go to https://www.hse.gov.uk/reach/index.htm .
Many thanks to Alun for taking the time to compile this information for us, we appreciate how busy everybody is in DEFRA, HSE, BEIS and the DIT, and it is very kind of Alun to give us this level of support.
As usual when we receive important information from the regulators, this page has been set as “public”, so please share the link with anyone dealing with Authorisation (or any other topic discussed today) who may find it useful.
EU Authorisation news
While we’re on the topic of authorisations, ECHA have authorisation applications out for comments – https://echa.europa.eu/applications-for-authorisation-consultation
There is starting to be significant “push-back” against Lockdown, as the cases fall rapidly, vaccinations increase, and people become concerned about the impact of a so-called “vaccine passport” on (what remains of) our civil liberties.
Charles Walker MP hits the nail on the head, “The current situation is absolutely not sustainable…I’m very sorry but I’m not getting into this game where somehow a death from coronavirus is worse than a death from cancer.” : https://twitter.com/Arwenstar/status/1360576753178185731 (this clip was chosen because it has subtitles).
Bel Mooney in Saturday’s Daily Mail is appalled that her 99 year old Father’s death was labelled as “Covid” on the basis of no evidence whatsoever, and recognises that the statistics are likely to be gross overestimates of what has really happened: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9279767/BEL-MOONEY-dad-died-chronic-illness-hes-officially-Covid-victim.html .
Speaking of infection statistics, you may like this article here, which gives a different view to the one propagated by the government and their advisors: https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/broken-lives-and-a-bleak-future-the-tragic-toll-of-a-years-lockdown-lunacy/
And Matt in the Telegraph’s cartoon yesterday sums things up nicely: https://twitter.com/MattCartoonist/status/1363175350180737024 .
Coronavirus vaccine statistics, including adverse reactions
Speaking of statistics, a topic close to my heart at the moment after my Mother’s health scare is adverse reactions to the vaccines.
John Partington of Waterside Colours and I were discussing Covid vaccine side effects last week, and John mentioned that he’d heard that the Pfizer vaccine can give worse effects, especially if you have any allergies.
Intrigued by this statement, I went looking to see if there is anything published, and found this page on the .gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine-adverse-reactions .
This links to a paper giving the overall summary of adverse reactions which have been reported (bearing in mind that this will not include mild symptoms which not everybody would report), which looks like it is updated regularly: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine-adverse-reactions/coronavirus-vaccine-summary-of-yellow-card-reporting
Although this paper deals with all adverse effects from every vaccine, there are links inside it to the raw data on both the AstraZeneca (Oxford) vaccine, and the Pfizer one, and un-named vaccines. Be warned, these are hefty reports and it may take some time to analyse the data from them, but I thought it might be of interest if you want to compare the vaccines’ adverse effects in detail. If you do have a look at these statistics, remember that there have been more doses of the Pfizer given than the AstraZeneca one.
I also came across this advice on the Pfizer vaccine for people suffering from allergies: https://www.gov.uk/drug-safety-update/covid-19-vaccines-pfizer-slash-biontech-and-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca-current-advice .
If we weren’t so busy with the Brexit regulatory changes, I’d love to dive into these stats, but there aren’t enough hours in the day at the moment.
Good news – how we can observe Lent at home
If, like me, you have been worrying about Lent observance beyond just “giving something up”, an excellent suggestion from the Rev. Peter Mullen is:
“…. for your DIY Lent Course try this: Open the Book of Common Prayer and read the Collect, Epistle and Gospel set for each day. Then you might say The Confession and the General Thanksgiving.
That should see you through until Easter Morning”.
Full article here (mainly about people misunderstanding Lent, his advice is at the end): https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/an-idiots-guide-to-lent-by-idiots/
I’m sure this idea can be adopted for other denominations.
Reasons to be cheerful
Our Reasons to be Cheerful this week is Peter Kay, thanks to Peter Watson of Town End (Leeds) who suggested this first clip on dipping biscuits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuqLqS5Xmz8 .
Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to the newsletter today. As usual, if you have anything you’d like to share, please email me and I’ll do my best to include it in the next newsletter.
I hope you are looking forward to a productive week and that you’re keeping your spirits up as best you can.
TT Environmental Ltd