§ Mr. David Porter
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will make a statement on the future of the Central Science Laboratory.909W
§ Mr. Soames
An enlarged and strengthened Central Science Laboratory agency is being launched on 1 April. This results from the merger of the CSL agency and the food science laboratories at Norwich and Aberdeen.
The new agency will be equipped to provide my Department with a range of scientific services and research and development to protect the food chain from the field to the consumer. The merger will produce significant benefits in terms of efficiency with a reduction in overheads and the more cost effective use of equipment and facilities. The enlarged agency will be better placed to respond to the challenge of competitive tendering in relation to the commissioning of research and development by my Department and the market testing of services.
A copy of the agency's framework document is being placed in the Library of the House.