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Gm Crop Trials

Volume 404: debated on Thursday 1 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) the consent reference number, (b) the six figure grid reference, (c) the size, (d) the date of planting and (e) expected period of harvest are for the GM crop trials in the UK which have been notified for the 2002–03 growing season but which are not part of the farm scale evaluations or the National Seed Listing Trials. [110543]

Consent numberSix-fig gridSize (maximum)Date of planting (expected)Date of harvest (expected)GM crop
02/R4/12TF 0740091000 m2March 2003November 2003Potato
01/R9/4TF 124 136100 m2Spring 2003Autumn 2003Wheat
01/R29/3TG 179 07730 m2February 2003September 2003Barley
03/R29/4TG 180 0704 m2May 2003October 2003Pea
02/R36/01TL 124 136100 m2Spring 2003Autumn 2003Wheat

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether the timing of the public consultancy over GM crops will allow the public to express views on the result of the GM field trials; [110374](2) when she expects to release the results of the GM field trials. [110375]

A series of scientific papers describing the outcome of the farm-scale evaluations for the three spring-sown crops (maize, beet and spring oil seed rape) has been submitted by the research consortium to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. The acceptance of the papers for publication, and the specific timing of publication, is entirely at the discretion of the journal. I understand that the papers are unlikely to be published before September. The main phase of the GM public debate will be conducted in June and July, and the Public Debate Steering Board is due to submit its report to Government in September. The results of the field trials are therefore unlikely to be available to the public taking part in the debate. However, once published, the results will be in the public domain and available for comment in the usual way.