The House of Commons Agriculture Select Committee shadowed the work of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and its associated public bodies from 1979 to 2001.
Follow the links on the right menu to view the committee's archived reports, other publications and press notices from 1997 onwards.
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee was set up in July 2001 following changes to the shape of Government after the Election that year. It oversees the new Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) which was formed from the old MAFF and the 'green' parts of the Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions, and which also took some responsibilities from the Home Office. It also examines the work of the Department's associated public bodies, including the Environment Agency, English Nature, the Rural Payments Agency and the Meat and Livestock Commission (a comprehensive list can be found at Defra ).
It covers a huge range of policy areas, from farming and fisheries to biodiversity and climate change via pollution and waste disposal. The Committee is now the largest Departmental Select Committee, with seventeen members. It has the power to set up two Sub-committees, and has chosen to do so on an ad hoc basis, setting up smaller groups to look at specific topics such as Broadband in Rural Areas and Badgers and Bovine Tuberculosis.