HL Deb 29 July 1988 vol 500 c569WA
Lord Brougham and Vaux

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to strengthen their ability to review the environmental implications of releases of non-indigenous and of genetically manipluted organisms.

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (The Earl of Caithness)

We have decided to establish a committee of independent experts which will advise us on the ecological implications of releases of non-indigenous organisms and strengthen the department's contribution to existing arrangements for evaluating the release of genetically manipulated organisms.

Sir Kenneth Blaxter has agreed to be chairman of the new committee and its full membership will be announced shortly.

The terms of reference of the committee are:

  1. (a) on an interim basis, pending advice from the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution and the Government's response to this, to advise the department, on request, on matters relating to the ecological implications of releasing novel organisms and viruses (other than those already covered by existing product based controls);
  2. (b) to provide ecological advice to other departments and government agencies and advisory bodies at their request either through the department or direct as appropriate and, in particular, to provide such advice to the Health and Safety Executive and the Advisory Committee on Genetic Manipulation on proposals for the planned release of genetically manipulated organisms into the environment.