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19 Sept 2002 : Column 294Wcontinued
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of the intelligent motor generator technology developed by Ricardo in reducing fuel consumption in road vehicles. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 24 July 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary to Transport (Mr. Jamieson) on 24 July, Official Report, column 1249W.
Mr Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the level of funding for the Are You Doing Your Bit? campaign was in each year since 1998; what funds have been made available to support this campaign in (a) this and (b) the next three years; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures she is taking to enhance the effectiveness of the Are You Doing Your Bit? campaign; and if she will make a statement. 
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2000 and £9.3 million in 200001. In 200102 most of the campaign's resources were reallocated to rural support, during the outbreak of foot and mouth disease, and expenditure was £0.6 million. The Department is currently reviewing the effectiveness of public awareness activities in this area and in the meantime, in the current financial year, is making only minimal financial commitments on the "Are You Doing You Bit?" campaign. The distribution of budgets for public awareness activities for the following three financial years has yet to be decided, in the light of the overall figures for the Department settled in this year's Spending Review.
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Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what biotechnology research projects in (a) agriculture and (b) biomedics have been supported by the Department; and what level of public investment has gone into them in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Meacher: The biotechnology research projects funded by the Department in the last 3 years in (a) Agriculture are available in the Library of the House. The total costs over this period are summarised in the table below:
|19992000 (£millions)*||200001 (£millions)*||200102 (£millions)||200203 (£millions)***|
|GM and Non-GM biotechnology||23.4||27||27.3||24|
|Research to underpin safety assessment of GMOs in the environment||1.9||2.4**||2.4**||2.9**|
|Total spend on Biotechnology||25.3||29.4||29.7||26.9|
* Figures include relevant DETR and MAFF programmes.
** Figures exclude food-related risk assessment projects, which were transferred to the Food Standards Agency.
*** All figures are provisional.
(b) BiomedicsThe Department does not support research in this area. Biotechnology is defined as the application of biological organisms, systems and processes to manufacturing and service industries. This definition covers genetic modification (GM) research but goes much wider to include, among other techniques, fused cell techniques, protein engineering, fermentation and cell culture techniques, the production of vaccines and monoclonal antibodies.
Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the availability of plastic recyling facilities in (a) the South West and (b) Somerset. 
I understand from one of the local authorities in the area that two local authorities in Somerset collect plastic bottles for recyclingTaunton Deane Borough Council and South Somerset District Council. In addition, 4 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) run by the county also collect plastic bottles.
I also understand that the operating contracts for 13 of the HWRC's are due to be renegotiated shortly. I understand that the new contracts will make a stronger commitment to recycling in Somerset and many sites will introduce plastic collection.
Mr. Morley: On 10 July, the European Commission published its proposals for reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. These form a good basis for discussion, and in many ways respond to UK calls that significant reform of the CAP is required. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State set out the UK's initial response to the proposals at the 15 July EU Agriculture Council. As she explained, the Government believes that the general thrust of the proposals of further market reform, decoupling of direct payments from production, and reinforcement of the rural development regulation is the right one. But in a number of key areas we consider that the proposals do not go far enough and do not adequately respond to the challenges ahead. In particular, the Commission's proposals on modulation would simply recycle money within the CAP while we would like to have seen a proposal which reduced subsidies while delivering real budgetary savings.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many jobs under the remit of her Department in (a) the core department, (b) non-departmental public bodies, (c) executive agencies and (d) independent statutory bodies, organisations and bodies financially sponsored by her Department and other such organisations are located in (i) Scotland, (ii) England, excluding Greater London, (iii) Greater London, (iv) Wales, (v) Northern Ireland and (vi) overseas, broken down by (A) whole-time equivalent jobs and (B) the percentage per individual department, body or organisation. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 July 2002]: The table below shows the number of staff in the former MAFF and its executive agencies located in the regions specified as at 1 April 2001, the latest date for which published data is available. The requested information on non-departmental public bodies and other independent statutory bodies is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|ScotlandLondonRest of EnglandWalesNorthern IrelandOverseas|
|Dept/Body/ Organisation||No. (FTE)||per cent.||No. (FTE)||per cent.||No. (FTE)||per cent.||No. (FTE)||per cent.||No. (FTE)||per cent.||No. (FTE)||per cent.||Total (FTE)|
(a) Core department (excluding agencies)
(c) Executive agencies
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Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 17 July 2002, Official Report, column 309W, which Scottish Executive Minister she met on 15 July in Brussels prior to the EU Agriculture Council meeting. 
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent research her Department has carried out to determine the level of pesticide residues in food within the UK; what checks are carried out on imported foods to determine the level of pesticide residues; and what plans she has to introduce statutory targets to reduce the use of pesticides in food production. 
Mr. Morley: The Government conducts a wide-ranging annual surveillance programme for pesticide residues in food including imported food. Some 4,000 samples are analysed annually and the programme generates results for over 100,000 pesticide/commodity food combinations. All the results are published on a website: www.pesticides.gov.uk/committees/PRC/prc.htm
The Maximum Residue Levels regulations apply equally to imports. Additionally, the general provisions of the Food Safety Act 1990 apply at all times. The food safety requirements are that food must not have been rendered injurious to health; be unfit; or be so contaminatedwhether by extraneous matter or otherwisethat it would be unreasonable to expect it to be sold in that state. These legislative controls are backed up by the monitoring programme described above. Around half of the samples tested are of imported food.
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