§ Norman Baker
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research has been conducted by or for her Department on bioremediation using genetically modified organisms. 1103W
§ Mr. Morley
The Department has recently published research that specifically examines the potential use of genetically modified organisms in bioremediation (final report available at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/research/epg-1–5–142.htm). The report concludes that genetic modification offers some possible benefits in this area, but that, as with all GMOs, a thorough evaluation of the potential risks is required. This evaluation needs to be carried out in the context of the contaminated environment in which bioremediation is applied and the possible alternative approaches to bioremediation.
We have also commissioned research on bioremediation in general, some of which has considered the use of genetically modified organisms (for a full list see http://www.defra.gov.uk/research/Project_Data_projects.asp?M=KWS&V=bioremediation &SCOPE=0).