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Genetically Modified Organisms

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many individual test sites were involved in the Part B consents for experimental releases of genetically modified organisms under the Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) Regulations 1992 and the Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) (England) Regulations 2002; how many consents were granted and still valid in England between January 2000 and the present; and if he will place in the Library a list of all such sites. (242465)

The information my department has available regarding individual test sites is the number of different six-figure grid references notified by consent holders, which amounts to 562 in England. Some of these sites were used more than once under a particular consent or the same site was notified for use under more than one consent.

41 consents have been granted in England since January 2000 of which four are still valid. Details of these can be found in the list of all the part B consents granted under Directive 90/220/EEC on the DEFRA website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/regulation/exper.htm.

Those granted under Directive 2001/18/EC can be found at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/regulation/consents/index.htm

A list of active part B consents with their test sites can be found on the DEFRA website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/regulation/pdf/trials-rev080708.pdf

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy to support at EU level proposals for competent authorities to create GM-free zones. (242650)

[holding answer 16 December 2008]: Earlier this month the EU Environment Council adopted a set of written conclusions on various GM-related issues, including GM-free zones. The relevant text of the conclusions states that:

“(The Council) notes that GMO-free zones can be created on the basis of voluntary agreement which, in line with relevant national law, could be tacit between the economic operators concerned in the area in question and that in order to ensure freedom of choice all concerned operators must be properly informed about an intention to create the GMO-free zone.”

The UK supported the adoption of the conclusions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy that all future field trials of genetically-modified crops in the UK shall be carried out at Porton Down or another high security establishment suitable for testing potentially harmful organisms. (243549)

[holding answer 16 December 2008]: Genetically-modified crop trials will only be authorised if a robust assessment demonstrates that, with appropriate risk management controls in place, no adverse effects on human health and the environment would be expected. As such, it would not be necessary to require that approved trials are conducted in establishments suitable for testing potentially harmful organisms.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what reports he has received of cases (a) in the UK and (b) elsewhere of animal deaths in connection with the consumption of the foliage of genetically-modified Bt cotton plants. (243551)

[holding answer 16 December 2008]: The only report we are aware of is that in India sheep in particular have died after grazing on the stubble of GM cotton crops. We understand that this matter has been considered by the Indian authorities, who have not identified any basis for concluding that the deaths were caused by a specific toxic effect of the GM plants.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many sites were used in England for the farm scale evaluations (FSE) of genetically modified organisms from January 2000; how many were vandalised; whether, in each case of vandalism, the trials produced data which was used in the final analysis of the FSE results; and if he will list in each case the (a) crop, (b) location, (c) six figure map reference and (d) Part B consent number, where appropriate. (241624)

The farm-scale evaluations involved 256 plantings in England after January 2000, in addition to the first three sites planted in the autumn of 1999. A list of all the FSE sites can be found on the web at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/fse/location/index.htm

41 plantings were vandalised and of these, eight were terminated and 33 continued to be used in the evaluations. A list of vandalised sites is as follows:

Local Village / Town or Parish

Grid ref

Part B consent ref.

Crop type

Vandalism

Norfolk - Great Moulton

TM 165 902

01/R33/11

Oilseed rape (winter)

1

Dorset - Hilton

ST 788 028

00/R33/09

Oilseed rape (spring)

2

Norfolk -Bradenham

TF 940 087

99/R22/16

Sugar beet

2

Norfolk -Raynham (East Raynham)

TF 893 262

99/R22/16

Sugar beet

2

Dorset -Bincombe

SY 680 822

Forage maize

1

Dorset -Bincombe

SY 681 836

Forage maize

1

Essex -Weeley

TM 168 215

Forage maize

2

Leeds-Bramham cum Oglethorpe

SE 448 422

Forage maize

2

Norfolk -Horningtoft

TF 934 241

Forage maize

2

Norfolk - Old Buckenham

TM 068 897

Forage maize

2

Shropshire -Hinstock

SJ 683 254

Forage maize

2

Warrington -Lymm

SJ 714 870

Forage maize

2

Shropshire -Whitchurch

SJ 573 381

Forage maize

2

Norfolk -Winfarthing

TM 099 872

01/R33/11

Oilseed rape (winter)

2

Oxfordshire -Hinton Waldrist

SU 365 980

01/R33/11

Oilseed rape (winter)

2

Warwickshire -Long Marston

SP151 489

01/R33/11

Oilseed rape (winter)

2

Durham -Hutton Magna

NZ 136 107

00/R33/9

Oilseed rape (spring)

2

North Lincolnshire -Low Burnham

SE 776 018

00/R33/9

Oilseed rape (spring)

2

Cheshire -Broomedge

SJ 697 862

Forage maize

2

Berkshire -Shinfieid

SU 748 692

Forage maize

2

Dorset -Broadway

SY 680 822

Forage maize

2

Essex -Wivenhoe

TM 051 221

Forage maize

2

Essex -Alresford

TM 056 221

Forage maize

2

Herefordshire -Preston Wynne

SO 566 478

Forage maize

2

West Yorkshire - Bramham

SE 450 412

Forage maize

2

Norfolk - North Tuddenham

TG031 134

Forage maize

2

Worcestershire - Crowle

SO 915 564

Forage maize

2

Nottinghamshire - Meden Vale

SK 589 706

00/R33/07

Oilseed rape (winter)

2

Warwickshire -Harbury

SP 378 597

00/R33/07

Oilseed rape (winter)

2

Gloucestershire - Chipping Campden

SP 154 403

98/R19/18

Oilseed rape (spring)

2

Gloucestershire - Kempley

SO 675 313

98/R19/18

Oilseed rape (spring)

2

Hertfordshire - Piccots End

TL 068 115

98/R19/18

Oilseed rape (spring)

2

North Yorkshire - Hutton Magna, Durham

NZ137115

98/R19/18

Oilseed rape (spring)

2

Norfolk - West Raynham

TF 851 240

98/R22/12

Sugar beet

1

Suffolk - Kenny Hill

TL 658 802

98/R22/12

Sugar beet

1

Dorset - Over Compton

ST 587 164

Forage maize

2

Essex -Wivenhoe

TM 051 224

Forage maize

2

Herefordshire -Preston Wynne (Rosem)

SO 566 475

Forage maize

2

Hertfordshire -Harpenden

TL118 130

Forage maize

1

North Yorkshire - Bramham

SE 442 409

Forage maize

2

Hertfordshire -Piccots End

TL069 118

98/R19/18

Oilseed rape (winter)

1

1 Trial terminated

2 Trail continued

The forage maize crop had a Part C (cultivation) consent, ref.C/F/95/12-07.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many Part B consents for the experimental releases of genetically modified organisms authorised under the Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) Regulations 1992 and the GMO (Deliberate Release) (England) Regulations 2002 were (a) granted and (b) still valid in England since January 2000; and if he will list them. (241763)

182 Part B consents were issued in England in the period when Directive 90/220/EEC was applicable. A list of these consents can be found on the DEFRA website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/regulation/pdf/exper.pdf.

13 Part B consents have been issued in England since Directive 200/18/EC became applicable. A list of these consents is available on the DEFRA website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/regulation/consents/index.htm.

Four Part B consents are still valid and details of these can be found on the DEFRA website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/regulation/pdf/trials-rev080708.pdf.