HC Deb 08 March 2004 vol 418 c1307W
Lady Hermon

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what his Department's policy is on the growing of genetically modified crops in Northern Ireland. [158871]

Angela Smith

The Department of the Environment is the competent authority within the UK regulatory system for the control of the deliberate release and marketing of genetically modified crops in Northern Ireland. The Department deals with applications to grow GM crops on a case-by-case basis and decisions are taken following advice received from the UK's statutory advisory body, the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment. There are currently no applications for GM trials or commercial growing in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland Ministers are working closely with their counterparts in the rest of the UK, in considering the overall policy for genetic modification, based on the available evidence following the results of the farmscale trials and the outcome of the recent GM dialogue, and intend to set out their conclusions shortly.