§ Mr. Martyn Jones
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent research he has(a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the potential implications of the release of genetically modified organisms into the environment; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Rooker
(a) MAFF has commissioned new research on possible risks to the agricultural environment from the release of herbicide tolerant crops. The research, with a total budget of over £500,000, will start this year and the results will be available from about 2000.
(b) MAFF began a programme of research to look at the possible risks to the agricultural environment from the release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in 1990. Over £3.5 million has been committed to the programme and to date, results have not indicated any risks to the agricultural environment from the release of GMOs.
§ Mr. Rooker
[holding answer 24 June 1997]: SEAC reviewed the options for scrapie surveillance and in their advice to Government on 23 May recommended a three part strategy consisting of (1) a survey of sheeps' brains from abattoirs, (2) a postal survey of farmers, (3) introduction of compulsory slaughter measures together with compensation and powers to conduct veterinary investigation of cases of scrapie.
The Government intends to implement these recommendations. The first survey has been commissioned with the Veterinary Laboratory Agency, Weybridge and a number of approaches are being examined by MAFF to take forward the second. Work for this survey will be commissioned shortly. The Agriculture Departments are consulting interested parties on the draft measures for the compulsory slaughter and compensation scheme.