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Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether multiple pesticide residues on food produced with agro-chemicals are covered by testing procedures; and what steps the Government are taking to ensure that foods possibly containing such multiple residues are safe for consumers. 
Mr. Morley: The Government's annual programme of residues testing in food generates results for about 90,000 pesticide/commodity food combinations. This includes an assessment of the number of multi-residues that may be present.
The potential health implications of multi-residues in food has been examined by The Advisory Committee on Pesticides in the past. The Committee concluded (on the basis of the evidence available at the time) that at the very low levels at which they occur, pesticide residues were unlikely to act synergistically. However, the issue remains under review and the Food Standards Agency has asked the Committee on Toxicity of chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) to look again at this issue sometimes known as the 'cocktail effect'. A working group of the COT (known as the Working Group on Risk Assessment of Mixtures of Pesticides (WIGRAMP) is working on this and has recently published its draft findings.
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We will be working closely with the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the Independent Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) and the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) to take forward the COT's recommendations as soon as they are finalised.
Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the soil strategy report being prepared by her Department will recognise the role played by soil organisms in relation to (a) the ability of soil to retain moisture and carbon, (b) delivering nutrients to plants and (c) preventing soil erosion. 
Mr. Morley: In the draft "Soil Strategy for England", issued for public consultation last year, we said that greater understanding of the functioning of soil biological processes was a priority and that we recognised the need to take these more fully into account. DEFRA is already funding research relevant to this. Other bodies, including the Natural Environment Research Council, are also carrying out research into soil biodiversity.
Our view remains unchanged that soil organisms play a key role in relation to retention of moisture and carbon, delivering nutrients and the avoidance of soil erosion, and thus a key role in the sustainable use of soil.
Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of organic land area is used in the production of (a) arable crops, (b) sheep, (c) beef and (d) dairy products. 
Mr. Morley: The information is not available in the form requested. However it is estimated that around 80 per cent. of the organic area in the UK (fully organic land and land in conversion) is permanent pasture and rough grazing and around 8 per cent. is in arable production. The remainder of the area is taken up with temporary grass, horticulture and woodland.
Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many acres of land was organic or in conversion to organic in the UK in (a) 1985, (b) 1990, (c) 1995 and (d) 2000. 
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Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when Ministers from her Department last raised EU obstacles to the ban of live exports and their replacement by meat exports in the Council of Ministers; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with her European counterparts on the abolition of long distance transportation of live farm animals throughout the European Union. 
Mr. Morley: The Government have been consistent in its preference for meat to be exported rather than live animals for slaughter. Two judgments of the European Court of Justice have made it clear that the UK does not have the legal powers to introduce a unilateral ban on live exports. The Government have continued to press for better enforcement and stronger rules on the welfare of animals during transport. In the June 2001 Agriculture Council my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, supported a unanimous resolution that specifically invited the Commission to report on options for reducing long distance transport of animals for slaughter. In the November 2001 Agriculture Council my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, called on the Commission to make their promised proposals on the protection of animals during transport.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many wild caught non-human primates were imported into the United Kingdom in the last five years; for what purposes; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: Imports of non-human primates are controlled under the European Commission Regulation dealing with the control in trade in endangered species. Our records show that 547 wild caught non-human primates were imported into the UK between 1 January 1997 and 31 December 2001.
32 zoological collections.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how far below 1990 levels (a) greenhouse gas and (b) carbon dioxide emissions were in percentage terms in (a) 2000 and (b) 2001. 
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Mr. Meacher: In 2000, total emissions of the 'basket' of six greenhouse gases, weighted by global warming potential, were 13 per cent. below 1990 levels. Estimates of greenhouse gas emissions in 2001 are not yet available. These figures confirm that the UK has met, and significantly exceeded, its commitment under the Framework Convention on Climate Change that was agreed at Rio de Janeiro in 1992 to return its emissions of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by the year 2000.
Carbon dioxide emissions in 2000 were 7.5 per cent. below 1990 levels. Provisional estimates suggest that in 2001 carbon dioxide emissions were 6 per cent. below 1990 levels. Final estimates for 2001 are not yet available. The increases in 2000 and 2001 were caused by the increased amount of coal used in electricity generation in those years and colder weather in the winter months.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate she has made of the percentage of nitrate pollution in rivers which arises from discharges by sewage treatment plants. 
Mr. Meacher: The Environment Agency's 2001 publication "Rivers and Estuariesa decade of improvement" provides information on general trends in nitrate levels of rivers in England and Wales. Although this information does not identify the source of the nitrates, the Agency's assessment was that in 2000 some 32 per cent. of rivers had high average concentrations of nitrate (greater than 30mg/l), and about 50 per cent. moderate or high average concentrations (greater than 20mg/l). It is considered that the average nitrate contribution from sewage treatment works is likely to be less than 20 per cent., and in most cases less than 10 per cent. However, where relatively large works, such as Altrincham and Sale, discharge to small rivers and provide a significant proportion of their flow, the nitrate contribution is likely to be higher than 20 per cent. immediately downstream of the discharge.
Where surface freshwaters are used for the abstraction of drinking water the Environment Agency has on-going monitoring at numerous points. If sampling confirms the presence, or likelihood, of more than the permitted concentration of nitrates, and the source of the nitrates is sewage treatment works, then we identify the stretch of river as a Sensitive Area (Nitrate) under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Regulations, and reduce the amount of nitrates in the discharge from qualifying works.
On 5 March 2002 I announced the identification of stretches of the rivers Chelmer, Leam, Stour and Wissey as Sensitive Areas (Nitrate), and the requirement for two water companies to reduce the nitrate in discharges from six sewage treatment works by 2004.
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