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Mr. Tredinnick: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the impact of Government regulation on Britain's organic farmers. 
Mr. Morley: The Government seek to minimise regulatory burdens where possible and consults the industry on their impact. Standards for organic farming are contained in Regulation (EEC) No. 2092/91. Additionally, the private sector bodies that certify organic farmers are able if they wish to impose standards which go further, and some do. Rigorous production controls are important if public confidence in organic food is to be maintained. It is for producers to decide with which certifier they wish to register.
Mr. Alan Williams: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the PFI contracts entered into by his Department, indicating (a) their dates of commencement, (b) their value, (c) if they have been subject to refinancing and (d) if his Department has a claw-back entitlement to share in savings arising from refinancing. 
Mr. Morley: MAFF is responsible for reporting on the PFI/PPP contract let by the Environment Agency in respect of the Pevensey Bay Sea Defences.
The information requested is as follows:
Jackie Ballard: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will compensate organic farmers whose crops and organic status are at risk from contamination by GMOs. 
Mr. Morley: No. Any issue of liability in these circumstances would be a private law matter between the farmer and the person who caused the problem, and farmers would have to take advice on their individual circumstances.
Mr. William Ross: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the number of angler-caught (a) salmon, (b) grilse and (c) sea trout caught in England in each of the last five years; and what his estimate is of the number of each of these three categories of fish taken by seals in English waters in each of these years. 
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Mr. Morley [holding answer 3 July 2000]: The table sets out the figures for rod-caught salmon, grilse and sea trout caught in England in the last five years. The figures include fish caught and released.
(5) Numbers of salmon and grilse estimated from age/weight keys and the size distribution of fish caught in principal salmon rivers
(6) Provisional figures
No estimate is available of the number of these species of fish taken by seals in English waters. The predominant species targeted by seals are known to be cod, whiting and sandeels. Nationally, salmon, grilse and sea trout form a very small part of seal diet.
Mr. William Ross: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what his estimate is of the number of (a) salmon, (b) grilse and (c) sea trout taken by the North East drift net fishery in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and what his estimate is of the number and percentage of these fish which were bound for Scottish rivers, indicating also his estimate of the number and percentage which were bound for the River Tweed and its tributaries. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 3 July 2000]: The table sets out the figures for salmon, grilse and sea trout taken by drift nets in the North East coast fishery in each of the last five years.
No precise estimates are available for the proportion of these fish that were bound for Scottish rivers or the River Tweed and its tributaries. However, a joint MAFF and Scottish Office report on "Salmon Net Fishers" (1991) estimated that 80 per cent. of the salmon and grilse taken by the total North East coast fishery in 1987-88 were bound for Scottish rivers and that 40 per cent. were bound for the Tweed. The "Report of the Technical Working Group on the English North East Coast Salmon Fishery" (1997) suggested that up to 50 per cent. of the sea trout caught in the North East coast fishery may be bound for Scottish rivers, the majority of these to the Tweed. Based on the above approximate percentages, the estimated numbers of salmon, grilse and sea trout caught in the North East coast fishery in the past five years that were bound for Scottish rivers and the River Tweed and its tributaries are given in the table.
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|River Tweed and its tributaries|
Mr. Cox: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which overseas countries supplied the United Kingdom during the last 12 months with (a) beef and (b) lamb for human consumption; what quantities were imported; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Quin: The table lists the countries supplying beef and lamb products to the UK, for human consumption, from May 1999-April 2000 as recorded by the Overseas Trade Statistics.
The data are provisional and subject to amendment
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Mr. Levitt: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the process of rendering animal carcases in destroying prions. 
Ms Quin: The UK has evaluated historical rendering practices by jointly funding, along with the European Commission and European Renderers Association, research work on the effectiveness of rendering systems in inactivating both sheep scrapie and BSE. Both studies have subsequently been published as indicated below, and resulted in consequential changes to European legislation on processing standards.
Mr. Tyler: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what research his Department has evaluated into the effect of the use of the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos on the health of children; what uses are authorised; and at what thresholds. 
Ms Quin: Both the UK and EU systems for regulating pesticides contain routine review programmes of older pesticides to ensure they meet current safety standards. Chlorpyrifos is presently under review in both the UK and EU review programmes. Both reviews have required the submission of data and research studies by companies wishing to support the compound.
For the UK review 171 toxicology and metabolism studies relevant to the risk posed by chlorpyrifos to the health of people, including children, have been submitted. The Government's scientific evaluation of these studies is currently being examined by the independent experts of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) and the Food Standards Agency. Once the Committee's review has been completed, in line with normal practice, a detailed evaluation document listing the studies evaluated and setting out the assessment made by the ACP will be made publicly available.
The European Commission has yet to reach a decision on the European status of chlorpyrifos. The initial evaluation of the safety of the compound carried out by Spain for the Commission is currently being peer reviewed by the relevant experts in the EU member states. The European Commission's review report on
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chlorpyrifos will be made available to the public once a final decision on the EU status of chlorpyrifos as a pesticide has been taken.
I will write to the hon. Member with the details of the crops, maximum individual doses and maximum number of treatments for those products containing chlorpyrifos approved for use in agriculture, horticulture and amenity use and place copies of my letter in the House Libraries.
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