Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

Session 2003-04
8 July 2004 GM Planting Regime: Committee publishes its report

8 July 2004 GM Planting Regime: Committee publishes its report

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has today published a report into the practical arrangements to be made following the Government's announcement in principle to permit the commercial cultivation of GM crops in the United Kingdom.

Matters such as the details of the regime which will allow GM and non-GM and organic crops to co-exist, and of liability for contamination or admixture, still have to be worked out. They will be the subject of a Government consultation.

In the report the Committee examines the areas in which consultation should concentrate. These are primarily, at what level the threshold for contamination or admixture of GM in non-GM or organic crops should be set and how issues of liability should be approached.

The Committee argues that it is important now to establish co-existence and liability regimes.

The Government may hope that now that the decision in principle has been made it will be easier to finalise the details of a planting regime. But the Committee warns that it should be under no such illusions: it is apparent that the prospect of agreement is remote.

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NOTES FOR EDITORS

The report follows an inquiry announced on 14 March 2004 and conducted in May 2004. The Committee appointed a Sub-Committee to conduct the inquiry, under the chairmanship of Mr David Drew MP.

The full report will be available on our website from around 3.30 pm on 8 July.