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Genetically Modified Organisms: Maize

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 17 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Government's policy is on the early planting of MON 810 maize. (262985)

MON 810 was authorised for cultivation in 1998 under directive 90/220/EEC and has been grown in Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Slovakia, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic. While UK farmers are able to plant MON 810, the seed is not being marketed here.

A farmer in Wales has claimed to have grown some MON 810 maize. However, it is not expected that MON 810 will be grown on a normal commercial basis in the UK. This maize is designed to be resistant to an insect pest, the European corn borer, which is not present in the UK, and the GM trait has been bred into maize varieties not suitable for UK conditions.