§ Mr. Whittingdale
To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 10 May,Official Report, column 25, on GM micro-organisms, (1) whether a date has been set for the proposed Working Group of the Standing Committee to discuss issues relating to the labelling of products produced with genetically modified micro-organisms prior to the next Standing Committee in June; by whom the United Kingdom will be represented in those discussions; what specific policy objectives will be pursued in those discussions; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) if he will list those organisations that responded to the recent consultation exercise undertaken by his Department and the Food Standards Agency in relation to the traceability and labelling regulations; what specific information has been (a) requested and (b) sought about the impact of the regulations on the fermentation industry and those of its products which are made with but do not contain genetically modified micro-organisms; and if he will make a statement;. 
(3) whether his Department has (a) evaluated and (b) commented on the Statement of the Council and the Commission of 28 February 2003 in relation to the labelling of products made with but not containing genetically modified micro-organisms; 
(4) whether he intends to make it his policy for the current discussions in Standing Committee that products produced with genetically modified micro-organisms, but which do not contain any GM material, should not need to be labelled under the provisions of the new traceability and labelling regulations;. 
(5) what guidance he gives to industry about whether products made with but not containing genetically modified micro-organisms are within the scope of those elements of the new traceability and labelling regulations which require labelling of products as genetically modified; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Miss Melanie Johnson
The Commission has not set a date for the proposed genetic modification (GM) working group of the standing committee on the food chain and animal health and therefore no agenda or papers for the meeting are available yet.
The Government's position on GM labelling is that the relevant legislation should be practical, proportionate and enforceable. The Government will continue to maintain this position in discussions on the labelling of GM 392W products, which fall within the scope of the European Commission GM food and feed regulation (No. 1829/ 2003).
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) consultation exercise on the new EC GM regulations will end on 25 June. Responses to the consultation will be made publicly available in due course. Comment on the impact of the regulations from all stakeholders, including the fermentation industry, has been requested to contribute to the regulatory impact assessment.
The Commission has indicated in a statement to the European Parliament dated 25 March 2003 that a decision on the labelling of products from genetically modified micro-organisms will be made no later than 7 November 2005. The FSA has raised the issue regarding the labelling of these products and asked for clarification on their statuswith the EC in bi-lateral meetings.
The FSA and DEFRA have published draft guidance notes on the new EC GM regulations. This includes information on the labelling of products from genetically modified micro-organisms. This information is based on the current position of the EC and is consistent with information provided to other Member States.