HC Deb 29 March 1999 vol 328 c458W
Mr. Alan Simpson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what steps he will take to examine bulk imports of United States soya beans following the 1999 United States harvest to test whether they contain AgrEvo's Liberty Link soya bean; and if he will make a statement; [75348]

(2)if he will make a statement on the licensing status of AgrEvo's Liberty Link soya bean in the (a) United States of America, (b) European Union and (c) United Kingdom; [75347]

(3)what steps he takes to ensure that unlicensed soya beans do not enter (a) animal feed and (b) the human food chain; and what communication he has had with AgrEvo about the planting and harvesting in the United States of America and subsequent exporting to the United Kingdom of its Liberty Link soya bean. [75349]

Mr. Meacher

AgrEvo's Liberty Link soya bean has been authorised for cultivation and food in the USA but not authorised for cultivation or food in either the European Union or United Kingdom. However, I understand that an application for marketing consent under Council Directive 90/220/EEC has been lodged with an EU member state. I have not had any communication with AgrEvo about this particular variety.

It is illegal to import GM soya unless the variety has approval under Council Directive 90/220/EEC. It is the duty of the importers to ensure that all imported soya has the necessary authorisations. If the product does not get EU consent by the time it is grown commercially in the United States of America and we have reason to believe that the product is being imported illegally the inspection of bulk imports will be arranged. In such circumstances the importer can be prosecuted.