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GM Crops

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 11 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what evidence the new guidelines on the safe distances between GM crops and to non-GM crops were based. (89189)

The separation distances we have proposed in our consultation paper on the coexistence of genetically modified (GM) and non-GM crops are based on a report by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB). Both the consultation paper and the NIAB report can be found on the DEFRA website at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate /consult/gmnongm-coexist/index.htm and http://www 2.defra.gov.uk/research/project_data/More.asp?l=CB0 2039&M=KWS&V=CB02039&SCOPE=0 respectively.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the conclusions of the study of technologies for biological containment of GM and non-GM crops funded by his Department. (89939)

DEFRA commissioned a desk study from the University of Reading into technologies for Biological containment, which was published in June 2006. On receipt of the study DEFRA referred it to the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE). ACRE's advice on this report can be found on the ACRE website at the following link:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/acre/advice/pdf/acre_advice73.pdf.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the conclusions of the study evaluating the environmental impact of crop production practice conducted by Rothamsted Research on behalf of his Department. (89940)

DEFRA has conducted a significant number of studies around the environmental impact of agricultural production practice, including several at Rothamsted Research. Rothamsted Research is currently leading a research project to provide an evidence-based specification for the assessment of indirect effects of novel crops or production practices on farmland ecology and wildlife. The project title is ‘Assessing the environmental impact of crop production practice: beyond the GM farm-scale evaluation (AR0317)’.

This research is about the development of assessment methodology. Further details are available on the DEFRA website at:

http://www2.defra.gov.uk/research/Project_Data/More.asp?I=AR0317&M=KWS&V=ICE.

The research is ongoing and due for completion in early 2007. Thus, we have not yet made any assessment of conclusions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) consultations and (b) Government funded studies related to GM crops are under way. (89941)

DEFRA is currently consulting on proposed measures to ensure that GM, conventional and organic crops can coexist, should approved GM crops be grown here commercially in due course. Further details can be found on our website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/gmnongm-coexist/index.htm

DEFRA is also currently inviting comments on an application to conduct a research and development trial in England next year of a GM blight-resistant potato. Further background on this is available at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/regulation/applications/06-r42-01.htm

Detailed information on GM-related research projects funded by DEFRA is being placed in the Libraries of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department has spent on research into genetically modified crops in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) project and (b) funding stream; and how much it plans to spend over the next three years in each case. (89961)

The following table contains information on research into genetically modified crops commissioned by DEFRA since its creation in 2001, and projects taken over by the Department from its predecessors, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions. Information on future years’ spend is included where commitments extend into future years. The funding for each of these research projects came from DEFRA’s central research and development budget.

DEFRA research projects on genetically modified organisms

Cost (£)

Project code

Project title

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

AR0317

Assessing the environmental impact of crop production practice: beyond the GM farm-scale evaluation

0

0

0

0

AR1001

Scale-up of Agrobacterium mediated transformation of oats to detect low frequency stable integrations

11,966

0

0

0

AR1002

Genetic transformation of wheat using Agrobacterium tumifaciens

14,093

0

0

0

AR1003

Reproducible Agrobacterium-mediated transformation systems for wheat and barley

15,068

0

0

0

AR1005

BRACT—Biotechnology Resources for Arable Crop Transformation

0

0

228,106

313,281

CB02001

Farm-scale evaluations of GM beet and farmland wildlife

485,517

501,052

0

0

CB02002

Farm-scale evaluations of GM maize and farmland wildlife

381,515

680,142

222,704

15,405

CB02003

Farm-scale evaluations of GM spring oilseed rape and wildlife

431,515

430,727

0

0

CB02004

Farm-scale evaluations of GM winter oilseed rape and wildlife

354,811

440,316

255,896

0

RG0116

Farm-scale evaluations—contribution from MAFF

50,000

50,000

0

0

CB02005

Monitoring gene flow from the GM crop to non-GM equivalent crops in the vicinity

76,406

90,340

12,772

25,544

CB02006

Gene flow monitoring: herbicide resistance genes to wild crop relatives

128,954

117,328

34,266

10,342

CB02007

Impact of Bt exudates from roots of GM plants

18,835

18,834

0

0

CB02008

Impact of transgenes for herbivore and virus resistance

104,830

0

50,142

0

CB02010

Modelling effects on farmland food webs of herbicide and insecticide management I

0

150,564

0

0

CB02011

Compositional traits—effect on GM survivability and persistence

0

14,981

34,964

0

CB02012

Modelling effects on farmland food webs of herbicide and insecticide management II

0

114,781

23,731

0

CB02013

Biodiversity effects of management associated with GM cropping systems

0

0

0

0

CB02014

Impacts of contemporary and alternative arable cropping systems

0

44,654

0

0

CB02016

Assessment of the distribution of GM material in kernel lots

0

0

14,000

21,020

CB02017

Non-target effects of transgenic crop plants resistant to virus diseases

68,756

72,383

0

0

CB02018

Determining risks to soil organisms associated with a genetically modified crop expressing a biopesticide in its roots

67,310

71,792

0

36,882

CB02019

Factors affecting rates of cross-pollination in maize growing under typical UK conditions

0

0

118,834

173,984

CB02020

Factors affecting cross-pollination in OSR growing under typical UK conditions

0

86,815

198,343

152,065

CB02021

Strategies for risk assessment, minimising the environmental impact of fungal disease-suppressing GM bacteria and plants

0

85,152

128,950

37,021

CB02022

Supply chain impacts of further regulation of products consisting of, containing or derived from GMOs

0

0

72,944

0

CB02023

Estimate consumer willingness to pay for reducing or eliminating GM products or derivatives in food and increasing robustness of the labelling regime

0

0

90,000

4,550

CB02024

Mechanisms for investigating changes in soil ecology due to GMO releases

0

0

24,892

24,892

CB02025

Insertion of cauliflower mosaic virus DNA into host genomes during natural viral infections

0

0

0

88,640

CB02026

Curation of the data collected in the farm-scale evaluations

0

0

0

82,731

CB02027

GM crop farm-scale evaluation results presentations and open meetings

0

0

60,105

0

CB02029

The statistical theory and analysis of GMO enforcement

0

0

0

24,779

CB02030

Support for the British Ornithologists’ Union conference on GM crops and birds

0

0

10,000

0

CB02031

Evaluation of the organisation and management of the GM farm-scale evaluations

0

0

16,000

0

CB02032

The potential for horizontal gene transfer from transgenic plants to fungi

0

0

0

86,273

CB02033

Monitoring occurrence of GM oilseed rape volunteers in subsequent oilseed rape crops at FSE sites

0

0

0

114,737

CB02034

Farm-scale evaluations: further sampling of soil seed bank and seedling emergence

0

0

0

229,117

CB02035

Sustainable introduction of GMOs into European agriculture (SIGMEA)

0

0

0

28,083

CB02036

Desk study on technologies for biological containment of GM and non-GM crops

0

0

0

0

CB02037

Farm-scale evaluations: further sampling of soil seed bank and seedling emergence—contract 2

0

0

0

0

CB02038

GM co-existence consultation—support for workshops

0

0

0

10,431

CB02039

Review of separation distances and buffer crops for co-existence between GM and non-GM crops

0

0

0

43,295

CB02040

Quantitative approaches to the risk assessment of GM crops

0

0

0

0

CB02041

RNA-mediated gene silencing mechanisms and their implications in plants

0

0

0

0

CB02042

Availability and use of general surveillance information for potential changes resulting from GM crop cultivation

0

0

0

0

CB02043

Agronomic and environmental implications of the establishment of GM herbicide tolerant problem weeds

0

0

0

0

CB02044

COEXTRA (GM and non-GM supply chains: their CO-EXistence and TRAceability

0

0

0

0

CB02045

Detection and traceability technologies to underpin GM inspection and enforcement

0

0

40,193

19,278

CB02046

Plasmid standards for real time PCR and UKAS accreditation of GM enforcement testing

0

0

33,056

11,645

CE0158

Transformation of wheat by Agrobacterium co-cultivation

0

0

0

0

CE0159

Development of a routine system for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of barley

17,334

0

0

0

CE0161

Agrobacterium mediated transformation of oats

0

0

0

0

CE0171

Gene regulation in transgenic wheat including methods to increase expression and/or reduce variation in expression

78,054

0

0

0

CE0172

Use of maize and rice MAR sequences to stabilise the expression of transgenes in wheat

87,865

80,610

45,000

0

CE0173

Nuclear and plastid transformation of wheat and tritordeum using the streptomycin—selectable aadA marker gene

26,083

0

0

0

H0909SFV

Genetics of transformation and regeneration in horticultural brassicas.

90,155

37,634

0

0

H0915SMU

Molecular analysis of integrative transformants of the mushroom

114,380

117,239

0

0

H1020THN

Genetic modification of rootstocks for disease resistance in rose.

152,056

0

0

0

H1026SHN

Conventional and biotechnological genetic improvement of hardy nursery stock

126,734

129,902

0

0

H1031SSF

Tissue and plastid targeted transgene expression in a perennial plant, strawberry

82,068

94,777

183,528

0

H1616SPC

Modification of chrysanthemum growth habit thorough genetic manipulation.

54,600

0

0

0

H2119SSF

Control of transgene expression in strawberry.

36,846

0

0

0

H3706STF

Examination of gusA transgene expression in the fruit of transgenic apple plants driven by plant promotors

29,398

0

0

0

L0110LFV

Genetic modification of Brassica oleracea for resistance to turnip and cauliflower mosiac viruses.

38,454

21,556

0

0

HP0212

Suppression of sprouting in stored potato tubers by molecular manipulation of abscisic acid levels.

133,933

25,362

0

0

HP0218

Dormancy and water use effeciency in potato tubers

0

126,098

175,337

183,668

NF0507

Functional genomics in marine algae to discover genes that can be used to produce docosahexaenoic acid in oilseed crops

98,496

104,862

91,580

47,287

NF0511

Isolation, and expression in plants, of novel spider silk genes

69,061

63,300

32,518

0

NT2305

Developing wheat genotypes with reduced nitrogen requirement by manipulation to decrease Rubisco content

26,902

0

0

0

PH0301

Containment of GM plant viruses

0

0

0

10,038

RG0113

Risk assessment and hazard evaluation for GM bacteria used in the biological control of fungal disease of crops

64,696

0

0

0

RG0114

Consequences for agriculture of the introduction of GM crops

32,574

27,264

0

0

RG0115

A generic mathematical model for the integrated management of a crop containing antifeedant genes

59,050

14,912

0

0

RG0123

A desk study on the pollination distances of genetically modified crops

1,280

0

0

0

VS0123

Methods for the detection of adventitious GM material in non-GM seed

33,333

6,667

0

0

VS0126

Prediction, sampling and management of GM impurities in fields and harvested yields of oilseed rape

0

0

49,837

98,962

VS0130

Desk study to review methods for sampling seed lots to determine the presence of GM material

16,658

7,332

0

0

Cost (£)

Project code

Project title

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

AR0317

Assessing the environmental impact of crop production practice: beyond the GM farm-scale evaluation

409,703

380,972

0

0

AR1001

Scale-up of Agrobacterium mediated transformation of oats to detect low frequency stable integrations

0

0

0

0

AR1002

Genetic transformation of wheat using Agrobacterium tumifaciens

0

0

0

0

AR1003

Reproducible Agrobacterium-mediated transformation systems for wheat and barley

0

0

0

0

AR1005

BRACT—Biotechnology Resources for Arable Crop Transformation

287,581

69,500

0

0

CB02001

Farm-scale evaluations of GM beet and farmland wildlife

0

0

0

0

CB02002

Farm-scale evaluations of GM maize and farmland wildlife

0

0

0

0

CB02003

Farm-scale evaluations of GM spring oilseed rape and wildlife

0

0

0

0

CB02004

Farm-scale evaluations of GM winter oilseed rape and wildlife

0

0

0

0

RG0116

Farm-scale evaluations—contribution from MAFF

0

0

0

0

CB02005

Monitoring gene flow from the GM crop to non-GM equivalent crops in the vicinity

0

0

0

0

CB02006

Gene flow monitoring: herbicide resistance genes to wild crop relatives

0

0

0

0

CB02007

Impact of Bt exudates from roots of GM plants

0

0

0

0

CB02008

Impact of transgenes for herbivore and virus resistance

0

0

0

0

CB02010

Modelling effects on farmland food webs of herbicide and insecticide management I

0

0

0

0

CB02011

Compositional traits—effect on GM survivability and persistence

0

0

0

0

CB02012

Modelling effects on farmland food webs of herbicide and insecticide management II

0

0

0

0

CB02013

Biodiversity effects of management associated with GM cropping systems

37,064

0

0

0

CB02014

Impacts of contemporary and alternative arable cropping systems

0

0

0

0

CB02016

Assessment of the distribution of GM material in kernel lots

0

0

0

0

CB02017

Non-target effects of transgenic crop plants resistant to virus diseases

18,327

0

0

0

CB02018

Determining risks to soil organisms associated with a genetically modified crop expressing a biopesticide in its roots

0

0

0

0

CB02019

Factors affecting rates of cross-pollination in maize growing under typical UK conditions

174,722

179,880

183,995

0

CB02020

Factors affecting cross-pollination in OSR growing under typical UK conditions

324,116

238,239

0

0

CB02021

Strategies for risk assessment, minimising the environmental impact of fungal disease-suppressing GM bacteria and plants

104,277

0

0

0

CB02022

Supply chain impacts of further regulation of products consisting of, containing or derived from GMOs

0

0

0

0

CB02023

Estimate consumer willingness to pay for reducing or eliminating GM products or derivatives in food and increasing robustness of the labelling regime

0

0

0

0

CB02024

Mechanisms for investigating changes in soil ecology due to GMO releases

0

0

0

0

CB02025

Insertion of cauliflower mosaic virus DNA into host genomes during natural viral infections

87,451

27,446

0

0

CB02026

Curation of the data collected in the farm-scale evaluations

82,731

13,366

13,683

1,810

CB02027

GM crop farm-scale evaluation results presentations and open meetings

0

0

0

0

CB02029

The statistical theory and analysis of GMO enforcement

0

0

0

0

CB02030

Support for the British Ornithologists’ Union conference on GM crops and birds

0

0

0

0

CB02031

Evaluation of the organisation and management of the GM farm-scale evaluations

0

0

0

0

CB02032

The potential for horizontal gene transfer from transgenic plants to fungi

196,255

39,251

0

0

CB02033

Monitoring occurrence of GM oilseed rape volunteers in subsequent oilseed rape crops at FSE sites

385,263

0

0

0

CB02034

Farm-scale evaluations: further sampling of soil seed bank and seedling emergence

122,642

0

0

0

CB02035

Sustainable introduction of GMOs into European agriculture (SIGMEA)

28,083

28,082

0

0

CB02036

Desk study on technologies for biological containment of GM and non-GM crops

52,506

0

0

0

CB02037

Farm-scale evaluations: further sampling of soil seed bank and seedling emergence—contract 2

117,434

0

0

0

CB02038

GM co-existence consultation—support for workshops

0

0

0

0

CB02039

Review of separation distances and buffer crops for co-existence between GM and non-GM crops

6,655

0

0

0

CB02040

Quantitative approaches to the risk assessment of GM crops

100,000

0

0

0

CB02041

RNA-mediated gene silencing mechanisms and their implications in plants

24,452

0

0

0

CB02042

Availability and use of general surveillance information for potential changes resulting from GM crop cultivation

48,168

0

0

0

CB02043

Agronomic and environmental implications of the establishment of GM herbicide tolerant problem weeds

40,123

0

0

0

CB02044

COEXTRA (GM and non-GM supply chains: their CO-EXistence and TRAceability

23,523

33,098

30,000

31,094

CB02045

Detection and traceability technologies to underpin GM inspection and enforcement

6,611

0

0

0

CB02046

Plasmid standards for real time PCR and UKAS accreditation of GM enforcement testing

23,384

0

0

0

CE0158

Transformation of wheat by Agrobacterium co-cultivation

0

0

0

0

CE0159

Development of a routine system for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of barley

0

0

0

0

CE0161

Agrobacterium mediated transformation of oats

0

0

0

0

CE0171

Gene regulation in transgenic wheat including methods to increase expression and/or reduce variation in expression

0

0

0

0

CE0172

Use of maize and rice MAR sequences to stabilise the expression of transgenes in wheat

0

0

0

0

CE0173

Nuclear and plastid transformation of wheat and tritordeum using the streptomycin—selectable aadA marker gene

0

0

0

0

H0909SFV

Genetics of transformation and regeneration in horticultural brassicas.

0

0

0

0

H0915SMU

Molecular analysis of integrative transformants of the mushroom

0

0

0

0

H1020THN

Genetic modification of rootstocks for disease resistance in rose.

0

0

0

0

H1026SHN

Conventional and biotechnological genetic improvement of hardy nursery stock

0

0

0

0

H1031SSF

Tissue and plastid targeted transgene expression in a perennial plant, strawberry

0

0

0

0

H1616SPC

Modification of chrysanthemum growth habit thorough genetic manipulation.

0

0

0

0

H2119SSF

Control of transgene expression in strawberry.

0

0

0

0

H3706STF

Examination of gusA transgene expression in the fruit of transgenic apple plants driven by plant promotors

0

0

0

0

L0110LFV

Genetic modification of Brassica oleracea for resistance to turnip and cauliflower mosiac viruses.

0

0

0

0

HP0212

Suppression of sprouting in stored potato tubers by molecular manipulation of abscisic acid levels.

0

0

0

0

HP0218

Dormancy and water use effeciency in potato tubers

191,205

198,673

51,083

0

NF0507

Functional genomics in marine algae to discover genes that can be used to produce docosahexaenoic acid in oilseed crops

0

0

0

0

NF0511

Isolation, and expression in plants, of novel spider silk genes

0

0

0

0

NT2305

Developing wheat genotypes with reduced nitrogen requirement by manipulation to decrease Rubisco content

0

0

0

0

PH0301

Containment of GM plant viruses

0

0

0

0

RG0113

Risk assessment and hazard evaluation for GM bacteria used in the biological control of fungal disease of crops

0

0

0

0

RG0114

Consequences for agriculture of the introduction of GM crops

0

0

0

0

RG0115

A generic mathematical model for the integrated management of a crop containing antifeedant genes

0

0

0

0

RG0123

A desk study on the pollination distances of genetically modified crops

0

0

0

0

VS0123

Methods for the detection of adventitious GM material in non-GM seed

0

0

0

0

VS0126

Prediction, sampling and management of GM impurities in fields and harvested yields of oilseed rape

132,006

51,710

0

0

VS0130

Desk study to review methods for sampling seed lots to determine the presence of GM material

0

0

0

0

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many representations his Department has received on the potential environmental impact of genetically modified crops in each of the last three years for which figures are available from (a) biotechnology companies, (b) environmental groups, (c) individual experts, (d) representatives of research institutes and universities and (e) members of the public. (89971)

The Department has received representations from various companies, environmental groups, research institutes and members of the public on the potential environmental impact of genetically modified crops in each of the last three years. These have taken the form of letters, facsimiles, emails, telephone calls, parliamentary questions and meetings. Precise figures are not available for the number of representations received from each sector mentioned in the hon. Member’s question.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with which (a) representative groups and (b) non-governmental organisations the Department has planned meetings during the consultation period on genetically modified coexistence measures. (89973)

DEFRA officials have had two meetings with stakeholders to discuss issues relating to the consultation on proposals for managing the coexistence of genetically modified (GM) and non-GM crops in England. The first was with representatives and interest groups from the organic sector, and the second was with the farming and industry group, supply chain initiative on modified agricultural crops. At present, no other meetings are planned for the remainder of the consultation period.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria were used by his Department to compile the list of organisations and people to be consulted as part of its consultation on coexistence of genetically modified crops. (89974)

The DEFRA consultation paper was sent to all organisations considered to have an interest in the coexistence issue. The paper was also posted on the DEFRA website and publicised through a press notice and press briefing. We are happy to receive views on this issue from anyone:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/gmnongm-coexist/index.htm.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the distance needed to separate GM and non-GM oilseed rape to avoid contamination. (90214)

The science indicates that most cross- pollination takes place at relatively short distances. However, it is known that cross-pollination may occur infrequently over very long distances, depending on insect movements and the prevailing weather conditions.

Under EU law, GM crops will only be approved for commercial use if they pass a detailed assessment of their potential impact on human health and the environment. In this context, therefore, it would not be necessary to apply a crop separation distance for safety reasons.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what role views submitted by members of the public to his Department’s consultation on GM crop co-existence will play in the decision-making process following the consultation period. (90215)

We will consider and weigh up all the consultation responses very carefully before deciding how to proceed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the timetable is for consultation on the co-existence of GM crops in (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland. (90216)

Coexistence is a devolved issue and the authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are responsible for determining their own consultation timetables.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with colleagues in (a) Wales, (b) Scotland and (c) Northern Ireland on a co-ordinated approach to creating a timetable for implementing measures for the co-existence of GM and non-GM crops. (90217)

The implementation of coexistence measures is a devolved matter. Therefore, while we are maintaining contact with the authorities in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on this issue, each authority is responsible for reaching its own decisions on the way forward.

DEFRA has issued a consultation paper on proposed measures for England, and the other UK authorities are expected to issue their own papers in due course. So far there have not been any discussions on a coordinated implementation timetable.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his Department's definition is of adventitious and technically unavoidable in the context of the legal threshold for contamination for GM co-existence measures. (90218)

Under EU law, products or individual ingredients are exempted from carrying a genetically modified (GM) label if they have an adventitious or technically unavoidable GM presence below 0.9 per cent. This provision must be interpreted in the wider context of the EU legislation on the authorisation of GM products, which clearly foresees farmers being able to choose whether to cultivate conventional, organic or approved GM crops. In the coexistence context, measures can therefore be imposed to minimise unwanted GM presence in non-GM crops, but they must not make it disproportionately difficult to grow authorised GM varieties.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice his Department has received regarding the potential costs and burdens to farmers if a detailed GM crop register was established in the United Kingdom. (90519)

The cost and burden to farmers of a detailed genetically modified (GM) crop register would depend on the form that it took and whether farmers had to bear the administration costs. The only advice we have received on the possible cost of a register was from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. It has developed a proposal for a web-based register that it estimated might cost £150,000 to establish and £40,000 a year to maintain.

Among other things, the current DEFRA consultation on proposals for managing the coexistence of genetically modified (GM) and non-GM crops seeks views on the pros and cons of establishing a public GM crop register.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps he is taking to strengthen the rules and regulations regarding the growing of genetically modified crops in the United Kingdom; (91656)

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure that the results from last year’s genetically modified crop public consultation are incorporated into Government policy regarding the growing of genetically modified crops.

There is already strict European Union legislation controlling the release of genetically modified organisms, including genetically modified (GM) crops. This ensures that GM crops will only be approved for release if they pass a detailed case-by-case assessment of their potential impact on human health and the environment.

The Government sponsored a GM Dialogue which ended in 2003. This comprised a public debate, a science review, and a study on the costs and benefits of GM crops. Further information is available on the DEFRA website at: www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/crops/debate/index.htm. After considering the findings of the dialogue process, the Government confirmed their overall policy on GM crops in a parliamentary statement from my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Margaret Beckett) on 9 March 2004, Official Report, column 1379.

In addition, DEFRA is currently consulting on proposals for managing the coexistence of GM and non-GM crops in England, should approved GM varieties be grown here commercially in the future. We have set out proposed measures that aim to minimise any unwanted GM presence in non-GM crops as far as possible, so that people can make an informed choice between conventional, organic and GM products. The consultation paper is available on the DEFRA website at: www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/qmnongm-coexist/index.htm. Policy on coexistence is a devolved matter and the authorities in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be issuing their own consultation papers in due course.