§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what response she has made to the OECD Initiative on Biological Resources Centres; and what resources have been committed to the achievement in the UK of the objectives of the initiative. 
§ Mr. Morley
[holding answer 9 April 2003]The Government supports the broad objective of the OECD initiative on Biological Resource Centres, which is to seek to ensure the conservation of biological resources and associated information in an efficient and effective way through the creation of a global network of biological resource centres like seed banks or culture collections, and, through such a network, to provide improved access to biological resources of an appropriate quality to bona fide users in the fields of life sciences and biotechnology. Proposals on how this might be achieved are still under discussion in the OECD. Officials from my Department are actively involved in those talks.