HC Deb 27 July 1998 vol 317 c18W
Mr. Paice

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 21 July 1998,Official Report, column 467, if he intends to seek further advice on the legality of already approved trials of genetically modified crops. [52475]

Mr. Meacher

My Department is considering whether there are any implications for consents for trials of genetically modified crops already issued under Part VI of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as a result of the recent judgment in the case of R v the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions,ex parte Watson.

Mr. Baker

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what measures and precautions were taken to avoid genetic pollution through cross-pollination to adjacent crops when the ACRE committee was approving licences of all the GMO trial plots that are currently licensed. [52494]

Angela Eagle

Each application for consent to release GM plants for experimental trials must provide the information set out in the schedule to the Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) Regulations 1995 and includes a detailed environmental risk assessment. This must address the potential for cross-pollination of adjacent crops and sexually compatible flora in the vicinity of the trial site. On the basis of this risk assessment the applicant must state what risk management procedures will be implemented to minimise cross-pollination. Examples of these procedures include specific isolation distances, borders of non-GM plants to act pollen traps and, in some cases, removing the flowers of the GM plants.

The Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment reviews applications for release consent on a case by case basis to determine whether the proposed management procedures are sufficient. In each case where the Committee judge that the management procedures are inadequate they give advice on the additional precautions to be taken. These additional measures are then made on condition of the consent.