Previous Section Index Home Page

Funding (Luton, South)

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what moneys have been provided (a) directly and (b) via agencies for which the Department has responsibility to the Luton, South constituency since 1997. [58591]

Mr. Morley: DEFRA was created on 8 June 2001, and does not hold statistical information on a constituency basis relating to the Department's policies. As many of the Department's policies flow from measures agreed within the framework of the EU Common Agricultural Policy, statistical data are normally available on a UK or England basis.

Farmers in the UK receive approximately £2.5 billion per year in direct CAP payments. This does not include the significant additional costs to consumers as a result of CAP price supports, which keeps EU prices above prevailing world prices.

19 Jun 2002 : Column 383W

Consumers in Luton, South, will benefit from the Agenda 2000 reforms of the CAP in the form of reduced food bills, with the average saving for a typical family rising to £65 a year by 2010.

The Government are committed to securing a more economically rational CAP. This will benefit both consumers and taxpayers in Luton, South. We aim to redirect public money from agricultural price support mechanisms to rural development measures of benefit to the wider rural community and visitors to the countryside.

One of the most important outcomes of Agenda 2000 was the establishment of the Rural Development Regulation, which is being implemented in England through the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP), investing around £1.6 billion in rural areas over seven years. By supporting rural development, including diversification into tourist activities, and by conserving and enhancing the rural environment through support for 'public' goods such as biodiversity and landscape appearance, the ERDP offers benefits to all who visit the countryside.


Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will reply to the letter of 11 October 2001 from the hon. Member for Torbay on behalf of Mrs. Cawood of Torquay. [58923]

Mr. Morley: I am sorry for the delay in replying. This correspondence was transferred to the Food Standard Agency, as they are responsible for the safety of Aspartame.

As the hon. Member knows, the Food Standards Agency report to Parliament through Health Ministers, and I understand that the Secretary of State for Health, my right hon. Friend the Member for Darlington (Mr. Milburn) replied on 15 June 2002.


Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which Departments are represented on the interdepartmental working group on timber. [63061]

Mr. Morley: The interdepartmental working group on timber procurement is open to participation by all central Government Departments and their agencies. Representation is not fixed as such but the regular attendees are from a core of the departments that volunteered to participate when the group was first set up.

The following Departments have attended at least one of the seven meetings held to date:

19 Jun 2002 : Column 384W

Cattle Powder

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total costs have been of storing powder resulting from foot and mouth and BSE. [62798]

Mr. Morley: Since the commencement of the over-30-month slaughter scheme (OTMS) meat and bonemeal (MBM) storage costs are estimated at £60 million. These costs include those storage costs incurred for the storage of MBM produced as a result of various culls employed to combat foot and mouth disease.

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the anticipated schedule is for the final disposal of powder stored in Devon and Lincolnshire. [62799]

Mr. Morley: It is anticipated that meat and bonemeal (MBM) currently in store at the sites in Devon and Lincolnshire will be destroyed by incineration (with energy recovery) by the end of 2004.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will reply to the questions from the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight of 1 March, Refs. 39938 and 40044. [55463]

Mr. Morley: The answers to questions Ref. 39938 and Ref. 40044 were conveyed to the hon. Member on 10 June 2002, Official Report, column 889W. The delay that occurred was due to intense pressure of work in the section responsible for providing the necessary information. DEFRA Ministers and staff regret this delay. Revised procedures and additional resources have been introduced to ensure that a better service to hon. Members is provided in future.

Illegal Food and Plant Imports

Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what quantity of illegal food and plant imports was seized at (a) (i) Heathrow, (ii) Gatwick and (iii) Manchester airports and (b) (A) Southampton, (B) Dover, (C) Felixstowe and (D) Liverpool seaports in each of the last three months; and what the nature was of the products seized. [54495]

Mr. Morley: We have no records logged for Southampton, Felixstowe and Liverpool seaports. However, enforcement agencies have notified us about the seizures of illegal food and plant imports made at Heathrow, Manchester and Gatwick airports and Dover seaport. These are as summarised.

Nature of product(s) seizedMonth 2002Total weight in kilograms
Beef, shrimp, animal fat, ghee, prawns and abalone, fish (salted and dried), poultry, milk, ready to eat meals, snailsFebruary671.23
Sausage meat, snails, honey, shrimps, dried fish, dairy productsMarch796.00
Meat, camel, chicken stock cubes, Milo, Ovaltine, honey, fish, duck eggs, shrimp and fish, Milo, dairy productsApril203.00
Smoked and salted fish, snail meat, milk drink and sachets, cheese, foie grasFebruary2,365.00
Milk powder, smoked fish, smoked chicken, hunting trophies, biltong, packet soups, chicken cubesMarch1,174.00
Meat, cooked poultryApril135.00
Assorted fish products, milk powder March43.00
Dried meatApril21.00
Meat—sausages, whole pigs, dairy products, fishFebruary50.50
Meat—sausage, ham, dried pork, salami, fish, dairy productsMarch243.91
Meat—ham, bacon, sausage, fish, dairy—cheeseApril178.50

19 Jun 2002 : Column 385W

It should be noted that illegal meat consignments found arriving at any port will be seized.

Press Releases

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many press releases were issued by her Department in each month of 2001. [59675]

Mr. Morley: DEFRA was created in June of 2001, our records show a total of 319 press releases between June and December 2001.



Third World

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she is having with EU Ministers about reforming the EU's policies towards importing goods from the third world; and if she will make a statement. [61935]

Clare Short: The UK Government have been working to reduce the tariffs that apply to developing country goods entering the EU. For example, the UK played a central role in establishing the Everything But Arms initiative that will provide the 49 least developed countries with duty and quota free access to the EU for all goods except arms. In addition, the UK is pushing the EU to be as generous as possible in current economic partnership negotiations with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries under Cotonou agreement. However, high tariffs remain on many goods of export interest to developing countries. In order to tackle such barriers, a new trade round was launched at the fourth WTO ministerial meeting in Doha in November last year

19 Jun 2002 : Column 386W

with a pro-development agenda. The meeting resulted in agreement on the need to reduce barriers to trade in all products including agricultural ones. The UK Government are fully committed to making these commitments become a reality.

Next Section Index Home Page