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Gm Crops

Volume 401: debated on Friday 14 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of two separate GM public debates running concurrently; and if she will make a statement. [100865]

The Government are sponsoring a public debate on GM issues, which was announced last July, that encompasses a range of different activities. As part of that process, the Food Standards Agency announced that it would be conducting a series of events to independently evaluate consumers' views on the acceptability of GM food and how this relates to consumer choice. These activities will be a contribution to the wider public debate.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures she is taking to ensure the Scottish Executive is involved in the (a) public debate and (b) approval process for GM crops. [101258]

The Scottish Executive is fully involved in and is contributing to the funding of the Public Debate on GM issues, which is being managed at arms' length from Government by an independent Steering Board. The Steering Board are keeping the Scottish Executive fully informed of their progress.Decisions to authorise or not the commercial importation or cultivation of any GM crop will be taken, on a case-by-case basis, by European Union (EU) Member States collectively working with the European Commission in the context of EU Directive 2001/18. In preparing the UK's opinion the Government will seek the views of the Devolved Administrations on all applications.