asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether and, if so, how they will ensure that there is a three-year moratorium on the growing of commercial crops of genetically modified plants in the United Kingdom; and how they will vote on this subject at the forthcoming meeting of Environment Ministers of the European Union. [HL4427]
§ Lord Whitty
On Friday 5 November, my right honourable friend the Minister for the Environment announced a renewed agreement with industry on the conduct of the farm-scale evaluations of GM crops over the next three years (news release 1057, 5 November 1999). During that time, there will be no general unrestricted cultivation of GM crops in the UK, and no direct commercial benefits to the consent holders will arise from the farm scale evaluations. The agenda for the 13–14 December meeting of the Environment Council is not yet available, so we do not know if there will be any vote on this subject.