HC Deb 17 July 1997 vol 298 c508
2. Dr. Lynne Jones

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to ensure that genetically engineered crops are separated from the main crop. [7276]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Jeff Rooker)

Under World Trade Organisation rules, it is not possible for Governments to demand segregation of genetically modified crops that have been approved as safe. Manufacturers and retailers, however, are free to pursue segregation on commercial grounds. Many United Kingdom supermarkets are demanding ever greater product traceability from their suppliers. There is no reason why they cannot do the same with genetically modified crops.

Dr. Jones

Does my hon. Friend agree that the public's right to have their food labelled with pertinent information is more important than the rights of multinational food companies to make large profits by claiming that they are unable to separate genetically modified crops from the main crop? Will he use his best endeavours to ensure that such labelling occurs?

Mr. Rooker

The answer to both my hon. Friend's questions is yes.