§ Joan Ruddock
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what research he has evaluated on leakage into soil from GM insect-resistant maize of the insecticide made by the plant as a consequence of its genetic modification; if he will instruct his officials to seek to follow up research of this kind; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Meacher
[holding answer 14 December 1999]: The science journal Nature published a report on 2 December 1999 on leakage into the soil from crops genetically modified to express insecticidal peptides from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). I shall be asking the statutory Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) to consider this paper at their next meeting. Their advice, including any recommendations for research, will be published. I will then act to commission further research as appropriate. However, no Bt plants are being grown or trialled in the UK, and we have assurances from industry that they have no plans to introduce such crops in the near future.