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Genetically Modified Organisms: Research

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance is given to members of his Department’s scientific advisory committees on taking into account all studies and data submitted in support of applications for approval of genetically-modified organisms and pesticides before providing advice to Ministers. (206909)

[holding answer 22 May 2008]: The Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) provides advice on matters relating to the control of pests in furthering the general purposes of part III of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985. The Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) advises Ministers on proposed releases of genetically modified organisms. In common with other committees, both the ACP and ACRE follow the code of practice for scientific advisory committees, recently reviewed and updated in December 2007. This can be viewed on the website of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. The code refers to the importance of decisions being based on all the available evidence, and notes that the secretariat should ensure that all relevant scientific information is made available to its committee. All members of the ACP and ACRE have received a copy of the revised code of practice.