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Biotechnology And Seed Companies

Volume 167: debated on Wednesday 14 February 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has made an assessment of the implications for British farmers and British agriculture of the purchase of biotechnology companies and seed companies by agrochemical companies; and if he will make a statement.

Because of the long-term nature of plant breeding and the heavy investment involved in biotechnological and seed research, larger companies already involved in the agricultural industry and which have the necessary financial resources and research facilities are particularly well placed. Provided there is adequate competition between them and between the United Kingdom companies and their international competitors in the United Kingdom market and that there is room for innovative small companies to identify market opportunities, I see no cause for concern.