HC Deb 24 January 2001 vol 361 cc603-4W
Mr. Alan Simpson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will assess the benefits of introducing a liabilities regime in respect of contamination and damage from GM crops. [144224]

Mr. Meacher

[holding answer 17 January 2001]I shall be considering this year a range of options concerning possible new provisions for liability in respect of any damage from GM crops. In this regard I will take into account the European Commission's proposals on environmental liability due later this year. My review will assess the benefits of such provisions as well as the difficulties that would have to be addressed.

Such benefits might include reassurance for the public and nearby fanners, an effective mechanism for ensuring the remediation of environmental damage, and greater responsibility by producers of GM seeds and growers of GM crops in assessing their obligations to other farmers and the public.