§ Mr. Baker
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment his Department has made of the likely implications of the cultivation of genetically modified crops for the volume of pesticides used; and what studies he has commissioned on this matter. 
§ Mr. Meacher
[holding answer 5 March 1999]: A scientific review of the impact of genetically modified crops on herbicide use was published by the Pesticides Safety Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on 15 December 1998.
Pesticide use has been monitored by MAFF's Pesticides Usage Survey Group for over thirty years. Discussions will be taking place in the near future to decide how this group's monitoring activities can be enhanced to monitor and provide information on the use of pesticides on genetically modified crops.
The farm-scale evaluations into the ecological effects of genetically modified crops being set up by my Department, MAFF and Scottish Office will also provide information on herbicide use on genetically modified crops compared to conventional equivalent crops and the comparative impact of the different herbicide regimes on farmland wildlife.