§ Mr. Alan Simpson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions who will be participating on the scientific steering group overseeing the farm-scale trials of genetically modified crops; and when they plan to meet. 
§ Mr. Meacher
[holding answer 8 June 1999]Membership of the scientific steering committee overseeing the ecological studies which are part of the farm-scale evaluations of genetically modified crops was announced on 25 May and is as follows:
- Professor Christopher Pollock, Research Director of the Institute of Environmental and Grassland Research (Chair);
- Professor Mick Crawley, Imperial College, London;
- Dr. David Gibbons, Head of Conservation Science at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds;
- Dr. Nick Sotherton, Director of Research for the Game Conservancy Trust;
- Dr. Nicholas Aebischer, Director of Biometrics at the Game Conservancy Trust;
- Dr. Alistair Burn, English Nature; and
- Jim Orson, Director of the Morley Research Centre.
Dr. Brian Johnson, of English Nature, representing Statutory Nature Conservation Agencies, will also be participating on the group. The Secretariat will be provided by officials from my Department. Officials representing the research contractors, the Departments funding the ecological studies and SCIMAC (Supply Chain Initiative on Modified Agricultural Crops), who are funding the growing and management of the crops, will also attend meetings; not as advising members of the steering group, but to provide information to the members on progress with the ecological studies and the farm scale evaluations and listen to their advice.
The first meeting of the steering committee is to take place on 14 June 1999.
§ Mr. Stinchcombe
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if all aspects of the scientific design of the field-scale evaluations of the ecological effects of genetically modified crops will be subject to the scrutiny of members of the Scientific Steering Group. 44W
§ Mr. Steen
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will ensure that genetically modified crops will be tested in EU countries only once the timetable, rules and regulations with regard to conducting those trials have been agreed by the Council of Ministers. 
§ Mr. Meacher
All consents for the deliberate release into the environment of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are issued on the basis of the procedures laid down in Council Directive 90/220/EEC, which are now being reviewed in the context of the revision of this Directive. Part B of the Directive sets out the procedures for the deliberate release of GMOs for research and development purposes.