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Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment her Department has made of the benefits of relocation of staff to North Staffordshire; and if she will make a statement; 
(3) what assessment she has made of the effect of proposals to relocate Government jobs on the Department's ability to meet (a) departmental policy objectives and (b) departmental public service agreements; 
(4) what plans she has to establish procedures for assessing the impact of possible re-location of staff in her Department to the regions; and if she will make a statement. 
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Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance she will provide to fruit and vegetable retailers following the Law Lords' decision on the case against Asda relating to European Union definitions of fruit and vegetables. 
Alun Michael: No new guidance is required. The Law Lords' decision does not affect either the EU marketing standards themselves or the existing obligations of fruit and vegetable retailers. Guidance is already available from Defra's Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate, who advise on and enforce the standards, and from the Defra website http://www.defra.gov.uk/hort/hmi.htm. Information on this site includes copies of the standards, contact details for inspectors and a retailers' guide.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what sums were made available to (a) UK and (b) EU companies for the restitution of funds to assist with exporting costs in each of the last three years. 
Alun Michael: During the years 2001, 2002 and 2003 the Rural Payments Agency paid approximately £125.4 million, £138.7 million and £170.2 million respectively in export refunds to companies claiming in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice she has received from the Advisory Committee on Releases into the Environment on the proposal by Bayer to import GM rice into the EU for processing and animal feed. 
Mr. Morley: The application by Bayer for the importation of herbicide tolerant rice (event LLRICE62) into the European Union is being considered under the procedures set out in Directive 2001/18/EC. The UK is the lead member state and therefore undertakes the initial assessment. The Government has been advised by ACRE that "This GM rice does not pose a risk to human health and the environment. The marketing of this product for importation and processing in the UK will be no different from that of other rice imported for processing and animal feed purposes. In coming to this conclusion ACRE have taken account of the advice of the Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs (ACAF). ACRE
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also recommends that reports of post market monitoring for general surveillance of this product be provided to the regulatory authorities on an annual basis". The complete ACRE advice is available on the Defra website at: www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/regulation/euconsent.htm.
The application and the UK's assessment will now be assessed by other EU member states and the Commission before a collective decision is made. Consent, if granted, would not permit cultivation of the rice in the EU nor, without separate approval, could it be used in human food.
Alun Michael: The silhouette on a passport must be signed by a veterinary surgeon or someone deemed competent to do so by the Passport Issuing Organisation. This is clearly the intention of the legislation but recently we became aware that some passport issuing organisations were allowing individual horse owners to complete and sign the silhouette. Independent verification is clearly essential. In underlining this point to the organisations I have proposed that the owner may complete the silhouette provided a microchip is inserted at the same time. This reflects our approach of working with the industry and seeking to be practical rather than gold plating the legislation.
Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has made to introduce legislation to protect and manage the marine environment following the publication of the Marine Stewardship Report. 
Mr. Morley: The Marine Stewardship Report announced a Review of Controls on Development in Marine and Coastal Waters. It also announced a Pilot project in the Irish Sea as the next step of the Review of Marine Nature Conservation. Both of these Reviews are examining whether new arrangements, including new legislation, are required to better manage and protect
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Mr. Bradshaw: As part of the Randomised Badger Culling Trial, a proportion of setts within the survey only treatment areas are regularly checked for evidence of illegal activity, including badger digging and other signs of unauthorised culling or interference.
Mr. Alexander: 66 per cent. of Government services are now available on-line. Departments continue to make progress towards our target for making all services available electronically by 2005, with key services achieving high levels of take-up.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what inquiries his Department has conducted into alleged leaks from members of staff since 1997; and on what occasions the names of those persons accused of leaking information from his Department have been made public (a) by the Government and (b) by way of another source. 
In line with Exemptions 1(a) and 7(b) set out in Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, it has been the long-standing practice of successive governments not to comment on the outcome of such inquiries in order to safeguard security and investigative arrangements.
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