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GM Crops

Volume 454: debated on Wednesday 13 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the evidential basis was for determining that the Government’s target for GM cross-pollination should be 0.3 per cent.; and whether alternative targets were considered. (105532)

The general aim for coexistence is to minimise unwanted genetically modified (GM) presence in non-GM crops as far as possible, while recognising that it is impractical to rule out all GM transfer. This is recognised by the agreed EU threshold for labelling GM presence of 0.9 per cent. In the context of this threshold, coexistence measures have to allow for all the potential sources of GM presence, including crop-to-crop cross-pollination.

These considerations underpin our proposed crop separation distances that aim to limit cross-pollination to a maximum of 0.3 per cent. In practice, any cross-pollination would generally be less than 0.3 per cent. as crops would normally be more than the specified distance apart.