HL Deb 17 May 2000 vol 613 c27WA
Lord Harris of Haringey

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action they are taking to address the issue of seed purity. [HL2514]

Baroness Hayman

We are taking several new steps to ensure seed purity, in addition to the current consultation on the importation and labelling of seeds. These include pressing internationally for agreed standards, testing of seed imports to the UK and working with the industry on a code of practice. The need for action in this area is highlighted by the recent information we have received from Advanta Seeds UK that some of its conventional rapeseed sold and sown in 1999 and 2000 in several EU member states, including the UK, contained about 1 per cent of genetically modified rapeseed. The genetic modification in question has already been assessed and cleared for food use and for field trials in the UK. We have consulted both ACRE (the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment) and the Food Standards Agency, who have confirmed the view that there is no risk to public health or the environment.