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Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will publish her detailed response to the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission report; and if she will launch the public debate on genetic modification. 
Mr. Meacher: The Government are considering the details of the advice from the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission on a public debate on GM issues and will respond as soon as possible. Our intention is that the public debate will start as quickly as possible once the detailed arrangements have been finalised.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the mandate of the Committee on the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE) is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if she will list the items currently under its consideration; if she will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: Council Regulation EC 1655/2000 establishes the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE). The LIFE Committee is a regulatory Committee provided for under Article 11 of the LIFE Regulation. The mandate of the Committee is to assist the Commission with the establishment of guidelines for the type of projects to be funded, and to approve the lists of projects selected for funding.
The Committee has met twice in the last 12 months. Two representatives are permitted from each member state. The Commission pays for one representative to attend from each member state. Additional representatives from the UK cost around £400 per meeting. The cost of attending this Committee over the last 12 months was approximately £800.
The main issues being considered by the Committee are the guidelines and application process for the Instrument, communication and lists of projects to be funded under both LIFE Environment and LIFE Third Countries.
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Margaret Beckett: The change in national legislation was based on the advice of the Chief Veterinary Officer in the context of the outbreak of foot and mouth disease and is consistent with the requirements of forthcoming EU legislation on Classical Swine Fever and animal by-products. The index case of the FMD outbreak was at premises where the producer has been subsequently prosecuted for feeding unprocessed catering waste.
The proposal to ban swillfeeding was the subject of a full public consultation and a Regulatory Impact Assessment. The majority of respondents were in favour of a ban on the feeding of catering waste containing meat or meat products as swill to livestock. The final RIA was published with the Animal By-Products (Amendment) (England) Order 2001 and a copy is available from the Library of the House.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the risk to animal health from the use of waste cooking oil as an additive in animal feed. 
Margaret Beckett: Used cooking oils are almost solely of vegetable origin in the UK and are not in themselves unsafe, although there is a risk that they may become contaminated. That risk can be removed if an effective control and traceability system is in place.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the scope, progress, timetable and conclusions of her Department's research projects on TB in wildlife other than badgers. 
|Title of research project||Start date||End date|
|The risk to cattle from Mycobacterium bovis in wildlife species other than badgers||1 May 1999||30 April 2004|
|The risk to cattle from wildlife species other than badgers in areas of high herd breakdown risk||1 January 2000||31 November 2003|
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many water level management plans have received grant aid for implementation from her Department in each of the last five years; and what assessment she has made of the adequacy of this level of expenditure. 
Mr. Morley: DEFRA provides grant towards the cost of approved capital works undertaken by the Environment Agency, local authorities and Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs), inter alia, to implement water level management
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plans (WLMPs). The numbers of works in relation to WLMPs approved for grant in each of the last five years is:
|2002 (to date)||1|
The Department is committed to its WLMP initiative. In February 2001 in order to encourage implementation of plans I announced an increase in grant rates for IDBs to 80 per cent. for sites of international importance, and 50 per cent. for sites of national importance.
The operating authorities have a High Level Target in relation to completion and implementation of WLMPs. Part B of this target is to have in place a detailed programme for implementing and reviewing WLMPs:
For other SSSIs (by April 2003).
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many feasibility studies have been (a) commissioned and (b) completed by the Environment Agency following the flooding of autumn 2000; what (i) flood alleviation measures have resulted and (ii) expenditure has been incurred up to April of this year; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency has developed a database to monitor progress at all the flood locations identified in their Lessons Learned Report on the autumn 2000 floods. The database covers locations for which local authorities are considering flood management options as well as those for which the Agency is taking the lead, and is reviewed every six months. A current review is nearing completion and I understand that the results will be available in early August. I have asked the Agency to provide you with the information requested as soon as it is available. Since the floods of autumn 2000, DEFRA has approved for grant aid a total of 274 new flood and coastal schemes and studies at an estimated cost of £386 million, although of course not all relate to locations flooded that year.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent on flood defences in England broken down by (a) constituency and (b) Government regional development agency in the past five years; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Expenditure on flood defences in England is incurred primarily by the Environment Agency, local authorities and Internal Drainage Boards. The Agency does not keep financial records on the basis of
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Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) who will be responsible for the policing of the baseline/12 mile limit zones under the proposals for post 2002 in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland; 
(3) to whom the management of the baseline/12 mile limit zone would be accountable under the proposals for the post 2002 CFP; 
(4) whether the competency for the baseline/12 mile limit will be returned to member states within the proposals for the reformed Common Fisheries Policy post 2002; 
(5) whether the establishment of a permanent baseline/ 12 mile limit fishing zone to the member state concerned would require a treaty change; 
(6) whether the consultation of management will include all those member states who have fishing rights within the six to 12 mile limit zone within the present proposals for the CFP post 2002. 
Mr. Morley: The Communication from the Commission on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy ("Roadmap") (Com(02) 181) makes it clear that the Commission proposes to continue the current regime applicable to the six to 12 mile zones.
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