HC Deb 23 May 1988 vol 134 cc15-6W
Mr. Home Robertson

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the suitability of testing of the distinctness, uniformity and stability of cereal seeds for use in Scotland being carried out at Cambridge, and if he will make a statement on the recommendations of the recent review of plant variety testing and seed certification systems.

Mr. Michael Forsyth

There are no agronomic or scientific reasons why seed of new varieties of cereals for production in any part of the United Kingdom should not be tested for distinctness, uniformity and stability at a single suitable location. The testing of all cereal varieties is currently shared between centres at Cambridge and Edinburgh at both of which the work is carried out adequately.

The United Kingdom Agriculture Ministers agreed that the report on the plant variety testing and seed certification systems in the United Kingdom should be published and copies made available for comment by interested organisations. Ministers will decide in the light of those comments what action should be taken on the many recommendations contained in the report.