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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to increase the number of inspectors at ports to detect contaminated food; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 5 November 2001]: All products of animal origin imported from third countries into the UK must enter at designated UK Border Inspection Posts (BIP) where they are subject to veterinary inspections. The inspection services at the BIP are the responsibility of the local authority and we expect them to have adequate staff properly to carry out their duties. However, the BIP has to be approved by the European Commission, which conducts periodic inspection missions, and which has to be satisfied that the inspection services are adequate. If they are not, the approval of the BIP may be suspended.
Products of animal origin produced within the EU may circulate freely in the single market, and are not subject to border checks. They may be subject to checks at the point of destination within the UK.
In respect of food not of animal origin the Food Standards Agency monitors general food enforcement activity by all local authorities, including port health authorities, and has recently begun a programme of audits to provide more detailed information on enforcement standards.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on her policy on extending MAGP IV by a year; and what measures she will take to assist payments to UK fishermen from this budget line. 
Mr. Morley: I welcome the Commission proposal to extend MAGP IV by one year while setting digressive limits on the capacity of the EU fleet, and reducing eligibility for grants for construction and modernisation of vessels. The purpose of the MAGP IV programme is to set quantified limits on member states' fleets, rather than to provide payments to fishermen.
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Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much new public money has been spent in 2001 on improving flood defences in (a) York, (b) Uckfield, (c) Yalding, (d) Leamington Spa, (e) Stratford Upon Avon and (f) Lewes. 
Mr. Morley: Operational responsibility for flood alleviation measures with the local operating authorities, namely the Environment Agency, Internal Drainage Boards and local councils. DEFRA provides grant for flood defence capital works, and associated studies, which meet essential technical, economic and environmental criteria and achieve an appropriate priority score.
I understand the Environment Agency has incurred expenditure in 2001 on such flood alleviation initiatives as studies, flood warning improvements, emergency repairs and maintenance at these sites but has not undertaken capital improvement works.
Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if the Government are undertaking a comprehensive study of the effects of pesticide residues in food; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The Department works closely with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on all matters concerning pesticide residues in food. Ministers are advised on this subject by the independent Pesticide Residues Committee (PRC) which oversees a wide-ranging surveillance programme. The results from this programme are published quarterly on the committee's website at www.pesticides.gov.uk
There has been some specific concern over the potential combined effects of pesticide residues and at the request of the FSA, the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT), a group of independent experts, established a Working Group for the Risk Assessment of Mixtures of Pesticides/Veterinary Medicines (WIGRAMP).
The working group is now in the process of preparing a draft report. It is hoped to issue the draft report for consultation early in 2002 and to hold a further open meeting before the report is passed to the COT for their consideration. The FSA are aiming to publish the finalised report in early summer 2002. The minutes of working group meetings and other information concerning the group can be found through the FSA website at http://www.foodstandards.gov.uk/committees/cot
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many ministerial engagements (a) were cancelled between 1 January and 31 May and (b) have been cancelled since 1 June. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 27 November 2001]: There is no record kept of cancelled engagements in DEFRA Minister's diaries. When engagements have had to be cancelled, wherever possible we try to re-instate them at a later date. All engagements are subject to ministerial and parliamentary business.
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Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to spend some of the money for flood relief announced by the Deputy Prime Minister when he visited Upton on Severn on projects in Upton on Severn. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 29 November 2001]: This Department provides grants for flood and coastal defence capital works, and associated studies, which meet essential technical, economic and environmental criteria and achieve an appropriate priority score. Further to increases in spending plans in the last two spending reviews, additional funding of £51 million over the four years from 200001 was announced in November 2000 following the severe flooding last year. An increased priority was given to urban flood defences and the grant rates for all river flood defences were increased by 20 per cent.
Operational responsibility for flood management measures rests with the local operating authorities, normally the Environment Agency and local councils, who decide which projects to promote and their timing. The operational authorities are invited to submit applications for DEFRA funding.
In the last 12 months the Agency has installed water gauges to measure the obstructing effects of the redundant railway embankment to the west of Upton. It has invited every property at risk of flooding to be linked to it's telephone flood warning service and it participated in the recent Flood Fair to promote self help protection measures. Upton on Severn is also in the area covered by the Catchment Flood Management Plan being developed for the River Severn. The study is being financed by DEFRA and conclusions are expected by the middle of next year.
Mr. Morley [holding answer 16 November 2001]: There are no such plans. However, the restrictions on pig movements in Devon were eased from 27 November when the county was granted FMD Free Status. Movements still require a licence from the local authority.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what dates and at which times the autumn movement of livestock scheme website at www.fmdamll.defra.gov.uk/logon.asp has been unavailable; and if she will make a statement on the impact on applicants of the unavailability of the website. 
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Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what support her Department has given to the agricultural supply industry following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. 
Setting up the FMD helpline and the Farm Business Recovery helpline.
Regional seminars which provide national and regional advice on subjects such as diversification, grants, restocking and local initiatives.
Farm Business Advice Service (FBAS) whose advisers will help farmers to make decisions about the future direction of their business. The service is funded by DEFRA and operated by the Small Business Service through Business Links.
A 24 m extension to the Business Recovery Fund to help rural economies damaged by foot and mouth disease.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many GM animals were being used in research at the latest date for which figures are available, broken down by species; and if he will make a statement on the efficiency rates of this technique. 
The number of scientific procedures started in the last year for which figures are available, involving genetically modified animals and showing the species and the purposes for which they were used, is given in Table 3.3 of the publication "Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain, 2000", a copy of which is in the Library. The number of animals used is close to the number of procedures, as animals are not normally re-used.
Questions about the science involved are primarily for the Minister of Science and Innovation at the Department of Trade and Industry. However, I understand a range of techniques are used, depending on the required type of modification, to produce new lines of genetically modified animals. The efficiency of the techniques ranges broadly from 1 per cent. to 30 per cent. (that is, the number of successfully genetically modified offspring as a percentage of the number of germ cells or embryos manipulated).
The offspring of established genetically modified lines are also reported in the Home Office/National Statistics annual publication mentioned. About 35 per cent. of such offspring are used in research programmes, the remainder being used for further breeding only.
30 Nov 2001 : Column: 1181W
|Species of animal||Generation of founder animals||Maintenance of breeding colony||Used for further non-regulated scientific purpose(7)||Used in further regulated procedures||Used in production and other procedures(8)||Used in safety evaluation studies(9)||Total|
|Horse and other equids|||||||||||||||
|New World monkey|||||||||||||||
|Old World monkey|||||||||||||||
(7) See Annex A of Appendix C
(8) Includes production of various biological materials (codes B50-B56 in Appendix C); also includes procedures not concerned with production (code B79)
(9) Reported using A codes in rows 1012 (see Appendix C)
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