§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the basis of his policy on measures set out in 1999/305/EC (OJ L118/63, of 6.5.99), on repealing restrictions on the marketing of seeds; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Rooker
Article 15 of Council Directive 70/457, on the common catalogue of varieties of agricultural plant species, provides for member states to be granted derogations to prohibit in their territory the marketing of seed and propagating material of varieties which they consider not to be distinct, stable or sufficiently uniform (DUS).
Commission Decision 1999/305/EC repealed various such derogations which had been granted to the United Kingdom. In most cases the varieties themselves, or similar ones which had raised concerns regarding DUS, no longer appeared on the common catalogue while, for the remaining varieties, no certified seed had been produced in the UK in the previous twelve years. The UK therefore saw no reason to maintain the derogations and was content with their repeal. No genetically modified varieties are involved.