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Genetically Modified Organisms: Crops

Volume 494: debated on Wednesday 24 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will publish the scientific advice commissioned by his Department on the cultivation of genetically-modified in maize and sweetcorn; and what consideration he has given to the implications for his policy on such cultivation of the provisions of the Environmental Liability Directive. (281971)

We receive advice on applications for European Union (EU) approval to cultivate GM crops from the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE). Its advice on the safety of two types of GM maize for which EU decisions are due, known as Bt11 and 1507 respectively, is available on the DEFRA website at


ACRE and the European Food Safety Authority have both said that Bt11 and 1507 do not pose any greater risk for human health and the environment than conventional maize. It is therefore not expected that any issues should arise in relation to possible liability for environmental harm. Moreover, neither Bt11 nor 1507 maize are expected to be grown in the UK, because they are not suitable for our growing conditions and would not offer any benefit to our farmers.