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Lords Committee to question Government Ministers on GM insect technologies

Two Government Ministers will give evidence to the Lords inquiry into GM insect technologies tomorrow, Tuesday 3 November.

The Lords Science and Technology Committee will be putting questions to Minister of State for Farming, Food and the Marine Environment at DEFRA, George Eustice MP, and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Life Sciences, at BIS and the Department of Health, George Freeman MP.

The evidence session will also hear from Professor Chris Whitty, Professor of Public and International Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The session will start by looking at the state of insect-borne diseases, and current strategies to combat them, and then move on to the field of GM insect technologies, in particular areas such as Government policy, public awareness, and regulation.

Questions that the Committee will ask Professor Chris Whitty include:

  • What is the current impact of insect-vectored diseases internationally?
  • What strategies are in place to tackle diseases such as malaria and dengue fever?
  • How well could GM insect technologies be used to combat these diseases?

Questions the Committee will put to Ministers include:

  • What is the Government position on the development of GM insect technologies?
  • How can funding and support be improved?
  • How well the technologies are regulated, both here in the UK and in the EU?
  • Should there be more public debate on and engagement with the science and wider issues?

The Committee evidence sessions will take place at 10.40am and 11.40am in Committee Room 4A in the House of Lords, on Tuesday 3 November.

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