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Genetically Modified Organisms

Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what powers to declare an area GM-free are held by (a) her Department, (b) local authorities and (c) the European Union. [114046]

Under the Directive 2001/18, it would be possible for the relevant competent authority to authorise the deliberate release of a GMO subject to the condition that it may not be used in specific geographical locations on grounds of sound scientific evidence of risk to human health or the environment. Any such condition would have to be decided case-by-case. The Directive does not provide for limiting the geographical use of a GMO on any other grounds. If any GMO was assessed as presenting significant risks to human health or the environment, it is highly unlikely that it would be approved at all.