HC Deb 26 June 2000 vol 352 cc376-7W
Mr. Jenkin

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what account was taken of the outbreak of rhizomania disease at Sunnymead Farm in Essex when permission was granted to hold a GM crop trial there; what contact he has had with MAFF regarding the outbreak of this disease at this site; and if he will make a statement. [127595]

Mr. Meacher

[holding answer 23 June 2000]: Rhizomania is a disease of sugar beet and its presence on a farm has no implications for trials of GM maize under the farm-scale evaluation programme. MAFF apply controls on farms affected by the disease to limit its spread. These include the adoption of routine hygiene measures by people visiting the farm.

Mr. Yeo

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the circumstances in which the Government have a duty to make public the location of crop sites accidentally sown with GM-contaminated seeds. [126817]

Mr. Meacher

[holding answer 19 June 2000]: A request for this information to be released could be made under the Environmental Information Regulations 1992 (as amended by the Environmental Information (Amendment) Regulations 1998), which place a statutory obligation on relevant persons who hold specified information relating to the environment to make that information available to every person who requests it. The statutory obligation is subject to a number of exceptions as set out in the regulations. My Department does not, however, hold information on the location of the sites sown with GM-contaminated seeds.