HL Deb 18 October 1999 vol 605 cc100-1WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have considered the implications for the World Trade Organisation of the 13 July speech of Mr Dan Glickman, United States Secretary of Agriculture, in which he disclosed inadequacies in the current United States system for regulating biotechnologically modified crops and animals; and whether they will encourage the World Trade Organisation (a) to review the work of any panels using scientific research originating in the United States; and (b) to review any fines, etc., arising from these panels' judgments. [HL3877]

Baroness Hayman

In his 13 July speech Mr Glickman said that the US regulatory process for biotechnologically modified crops and animals was based on rigorous analysis and sound scientific principles. He also called for an independent scientific review of the US Department of Agriculture's contribution to the approval process to ensure that USDA's scientists have the best information and tools so that the Department's regulatory capabilities continue to evolve along with advances in the new technology. This seems to reflect a commitment to base US policy on regime and addressed the needs of the most vulnerable banana producers in the Caribbean.

Commissioner Byrne updated the Council on the Commission's progress in its work programme of proposed animal feed measures, following the Belgian dioxin crisis. The UK supported the Commission's plans, whilst stressing the importance of adopting measures that were proportionate to the risk and defensible on safety grounds.

The Council heard a report from Commissioner Fischler on the implementation of the EU's food aid programme to Russia. It also noted Commissioner Byrne's undertaking to make proposals for legislation covering the labelling of genetically modified animal feed.