HC Deb 01 December 1997 vol 302 cc19-20W
Mr. Martyn Jones

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what help and access he has given the United Kingdom Register of Organic Food Standards to ensure it can regulate organic farms effectively with particular reference to the origin of cattle bought by organic farmers; and if he will make a statement on the current constraints of commercial confidentiality affecting access to information in this area. [17748]

Mr. Rooker

Under the rules of the United Kingdom Register of Organic Food Standards (UKROFS) organic farmers may buy in only cattle from herds which have not had any case of BSE in the previous 6 years. It is the responsibility of the organic farmer to demonstrate compliance with this rule.

The Government have given an undertaking to make information on the BSE history of herds available to organic purchasers of animals provided that the consent of the owner of the herd to which the information relates can be obtained. However, the legal constraints are considerable and it has taken time to make sure that the procedures we propose are legally defensible. Administrative instructions are now being finalised and the Department will write to interested parties to inform them of the new arrangements next week.

Forward to