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Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many written parliamentary questions were tabled to his Department between 19 October 1999 and 20 April 2000 which requested information, pursuant to his previous answers. [132137]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 July 2000]: For the period in question, 35 parliamentary questions were tabled to my Department which requested information pursuant to previous answers out of a total of 1,189 questions.


Mr. Curry: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the date was of the most recent meeting of the Veterinary Products Committee at which the availability of organophosphate sheep dips was discussed. [132450]

Ms Quin: [Holding answer 25 July 2000] 15 June 2000.

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Edgware Flood Defence Scheme

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on progress on the Edgware flood defence scheme. [132936]

Mr. Morley: I understand that the Environment Agency have been considering the responses to their consultation on an Environmental Statement for the Silk Stream flood alleviation scheme, and are now aiming to submit a planning application in September.

Worcester Regional Service Centre

Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many staff will be employed at the Worcester Regional Service Centre; what functions it will continue to perform; and where it will be located. [132912]

Mr. Morley: I refer to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Drew) on 24 July 2000. When the changes announced in that statement are complete, I expect the total number of staff employed by my Department in Worcester to be about 160. This includes staff of the new national service which will take over functions from the Farming and Rural Conservation

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Agency and from Regional Service Centres, staff of the State Veterinary Service and a number of MAFF inspectors.

PFI Contracts

Mr. Alan Williams: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in how many of his Department's PFI contracts KPMG has been an adviser. [132860]

Mr. Morley: None.

Countryside Stewardship Scheme

Dr. Strang: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much money has been spent to date on the Countryside Stewardship Scheme in England, broken down by (a) county and (b) region. [132301]

Mr. Morley: The table shows the total expenditure on the Countryside Stewardship Scheme by county and Government Office for the period 1996-97 to date. This covers the period during which MAFF has administered the Scheme following its transfer from the Countryside Commission. A regional breakdown of expenditure prior to 1996 is not available.

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Spend (£)
Government Office/County1996-971997-981998-99Total
East Midlands
North East
Tyne and Wear40,36969,01035,308144,687
North West
Greater Manchester54,04288,97794,097237,116
South East
East Sussex326,186407,802596,1521,330,140
West Sussex159,533182,800214,141556,474
Isle of Wight98,12399,745120,664318,532
Greater London
Greater London41,14598,403118,997258,545
South West
Isles of Scilly022,65366,35789,010
West Midlands
Hereford and Worcestershire160,031354,457503,9851,018,473
West Midlands20,43927,87132,94981,259
Yorkshire and The Humber
North Yorkshire840,1891,026,4771,092,2412,958,907
South Yorkshire120,036191,816216,696528,548
West Yorkshire68,397114,717199,516382,630
Grand Total10,544,90614,559,61718,710,51743,815,040

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The breakdown by region and county for 1999-2000 is not yet available but the total expenditure was £23.13 million allocated in broadly similar proportions to 1998-99.

Intervention Board

Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when the Intervention Board will publish its 1999-2000 annual report and accounts. [133688]

Mr. Nick Brown: The Intervention Board's 1999-2000 annual report and accounts were laid before Parliament today. Copies are available in the Library of the House. Under separate arrangements copies will also be made available in the libraries of the devolved legislatures.

GM Crops

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his oral statement of 18 May 2000, Official Report, column 473, concerning the absence of modified DNA from oil produced from GM oil seed rape, what assessment he has made of (a) whether modified DNA may be present in animal feed produced from GM oil seed rape and (b) the extent to which the elimination of genetically-modified DNA entails the elimination of other molecules not normally produced in conventional oil seed rape but produced in GM varieties. [124158]

Ms Stuart: I have been asked to reply.

I am advised by the Food Standards Agency that studies on DNA in various commercial materials used in animal feed indicate that DNA is totally degraded in extracted rape seed meal but is present in other rape seed products and by-products. These results are expected to read across

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to material derived from genetically-modified oilseed rape. When the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes carried out a rigorous safety assessment of the RT 73 GM variety, extensive compositional analysis revealed no significant differences between the GM line and its parental line. This indicates that there are no different molecules in the GM variety.

Mr. McWalter: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment his Department has made of the capacity of different forms of genetically-modified crop to render various forms of plant, and the organisms dependent on them extinct.[128696]

Mr. Meacher: I have been asked to reply.

The Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) routinely assess the potential of any GMO to render a plant species and other organisms dependent on it extinct, whether through becoming more invasive, toxic to animals or through other means. To date no existing GMOs have been identified with the potential to render other species extinct. ACRE's remit has recently been extended to take into account effects of the ways that GM crops may be grown on biodiversity, compared to use of equivalent conventional crops. ACRE's work is augmented by a research programme funded by my Department.

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