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Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department has received a copy of UNEP's Report, Global Environment Outlook 3, and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: My Friend, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, gave a keynote speech at the global launch of the third UNEP Global Environment Outlook (GEO3) Report in London on 22 May. The Secretary of State, and the Defra officials that attended the launch, were given copies of the Report.
The GEO3 Report provides an authoritative assessment that informs our thinking on global sustainable development. Although it does not single out individual countries, it makes clear that action is required by all countries to tackle environmental degradation. The UK Government take the problems
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identified by the report extremely seriously and are taking appropriate action in key areas, including biodiversity, climate change, forests and oceans.
For information, the Secretary of State's speech can be found at: http://defraweb/corporate/ministers/speeches/mb230502.htm.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with (a) the Prime Minister and (b) Lord Haskins regarding the review of her Department; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: Lord Haskins has agreed, at my request, to review delivery arrangements and structures to Defra's countryside responsibilities. Lord Haskins will consult widely with Defra stakeholders and those who deliver rural policy. We expect the review to be completed by the summer of 2003.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 26 September 20002, Official Report, column 247W, on GM crops, how many tests for unauthorised genetically modified organisms have been undertaken by the GM Inspectorate; and what proportion of them showed a presence of unauthorised genetically modified organisms. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 21 October 2002]: The GM Inspectorate has the authority to carry out testing for the presence of GMOs in two contexts: first, as part of inspection of authorised releases of GMOs into the environment, and, secondly, in support of the audit of seed importers and producers to ensure that non-GM seed stocks are free from unauthorised GM events.
Testing as part of the inspection of authorised releases of GMOs is carried out whenever there is reason to believe that material in addition to that for which consent is held has been released or to confirm the GM status of volunteer plants and bolters. However, the issue of testing of released GMOs is being considered as part of the proposed review inspection and enforcement activities. Since June 2000, there have been 3 tests (comprised of 41 analytical tests) of seed prior to sowing to confirm its purity and 32 tests of volunteers and bolters. None of these tests showed the presence of unauthorised GMOs.
Since June 2000 the GM Inspectorate has carried out a total of 86 audits of seed companies. These audits have monitored the precautions that seed companies have taken as regards the adventitious presence of GM events in seeds. As part of this process a series of tests (18) have been carried out to clarify results presented by seed companies. In no case was the presence of an unauthorised GMO detected.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department (a) has taken and (b) is planning to take to consult on the (i) outcomes of the recent World
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Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg and (ii) what steps planned by the UK Government to take forward implementation of the outcomes and which individuals or organisations have been or will be consulted as part of the process. 
Mr. Meacher: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has continued to work closely with a wide range of stakeholder groups and my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State and I met with stakeholders in October to discuss the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Officials have subsequently met with stakeholders, in a meeting organised by the BOND Network (British Overseas NGOs for Development).
Ministers are in the process of considering how to take forward the UK's commitments from WSSD at the local, national and international level, building on existing work. We will be launching a major review of the UK Sustainable Development Strategy in the new year, which will take into account WSSD commitments. Stakeholders will be consulted in this exercise.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps were taken by her Department to promote the use of the precautionary principle in discussions at the recent World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg; and if she will make a statement on the outcomes of these discussions in taking forward its use in documentation and agreements emerging as a result of the Summit. 
Mr. Meacher: The Plan of Implementation (paragraph 103(f)) reaffirms the importance for policy and decision-making of
The United Kingdom and the European Union would also have liked the Plan of Implementation to refer explicitly to the development of the precautionary principle in a number of international legal instruments since Rio. The United Kingdom and the European Union will continue to promote the precautionary principle, as set out in the Rio Declaration and subsequently developed in international law, in taking forward the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit and related work on international sustainable development and policies which impact on health and the environment.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department has made of banning the use of SF6 in car tyres and double glazing. 
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Mr. Meacher [holding answer 28 October 2002]: At this point in time, the Government have not made an assessment of the impact of banning the use of SF6 in car tyres and insulating glazing in the UK. We expect the European Commission to make a proposal for EU legislation on fluorinated gases in spring 2003. If it transpires that this proposal will include such controls, then we will make an assessment of their impact in the UK.
Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Westmoreland and Lonsdale of 18 July, regarding Mr. Clifford Kendal. 
Mr. Morley: My Noble Friend Lord Whitty responded to the hon. Member on 22 October.
Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Westmoreland and Lonsdale of 17 September, regarding Mr.Trevor Wilson of Cark-in-Cartmel. 
Alun Michael: A response was sent to the hon. Member on 2 November.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Government will respond to the foot and mouth inquiries. 
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she plans to announce to Parliament her Department's response to the Anderson and Follett Reports. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 28 October 2002]: I expect to publish the Government's response to the reports of the Foot and Mouth Disease inquiries before the House prorogues.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when she last met the head of agricultural departments of the retail banks and what was discussed; how often she has met the head of the agricultural departments of retail banks in the last 12 months; and how often her predecessor met the head of the agricultural departments of the retail banks. 
Margaret Beckett: I met the heads of the agricultural departments of the retail banks in November 2001.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with her Department's non departmental public bodies; and if she will make a statement. 
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Margaret Beckett: I have regular discussions with the heads and officials of Defra's non-departmental public bodies.
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