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9 Feb 2006 : Column 1358W—continued

Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what time period elapsed between the publication of each Report by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution and the publication of the official response by the Government; and what the time scale is for publishing outstanding responses. [48457]

Mr. Morley: The Government aims to respond to reports of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) within one year of their publication. Government needs to consider fully the reports and their recommendations before responding, so response timings depend on the complexity of the reports and the need to take account of the development of policy and proposals for new legislation.

There are two reports currently awaiting Government response:

Previous responses were issued as follows:
ReportDate published by RCEPDate of Government response
Main Reports (Command Papers)
1st ReportFebruary 1971March 1975(2)
2nd Report: Three Issues in Industrial PollutionMarch 1972March 1975(2)
3rd Report: Pollution in someSeptemberMarch 1975(2)
British Estuaries and Coastal Waters1972
4tn Report: Pollution Control: Progress and ProblemsDecember 1974March 1975(2)
5th Report: Air Pollution Control: an Integrated ApproachJanuary 1976December 1982
6th Report: Nuclear Power and the EnvironmentSeptember 1976May 1977
7th Report: Agriculture and PollutionSeptember 1979December 1983
8th Report: Oil Pollution of the SeaOctober 1981December 1983
9th Report: Lead in the EnvironmentApril 1983July 1983
10th Report: Tackling Pollution-Experience and ProspectsFebruary 1984December 1984
11th Report: Managing Waste: The Duty of CareDecember 1985September 1986
12th Report: Best Practicable Environmental OptionFebruary 1988December 1992
13th Report: The Release of Genetically Engineered Organisms to the EnvironmentJuly 1989June 1993
14th Report: GENHAZ-A System for the Critical Appraisal of Proposals to Release Genetically Modified Organisms into the EnvironmentJune 1991December 1994
15th Report: Emissions from Heavy Duty Diesel VehiclesSeptember 1991December 1992
16th Report: Freshwater QualityJune 1992February 1995
17th Report: Incineration of WasteMay 1993July 1994
18th Report: Transport and the EnvironmentOctober 19941996 Green Paper Transport: The Way Forward" addressed issues raised
19th Report: Sustainable Use of SoilFebruary 1996January 1997
20th Report: Transport and the Environment-Developments since 1994September 1997October 1998
21st Report: Setting Environmental StandardsOctober 1998July 2000
22nd Report: Energy-The Changing ClimateJune 2000February 2003
23rd Report: Environmental Planning, EnglandMarch 2002July 2003
24th Report: Chemicals in Products-Safeguarding the Environment and Human HealthJune 2003August 2004
Special Reports
Special Report: The Environmental Effects of Civil Aircraft in FlightNovember 2002No official response but recommendations were incorporated in The Future of Air Transport" White Paper published in December 2003
Special Report: Biomass as a Renewable Energy SourceMay 2004October 2004

(2) Part of the consolidated response to the first four reports.

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Special Protection Area Status

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what role English Nature plays in the planning process for special protection area status; and if she will make a statement. [49814]

Jim Knight: As the statutory conservation advisor for England, one of English Nature's roles is to recommend sites to DEFRA that qualify as special protection areas (SPAs). Before making a recommendation, English Nature undertakes a scientific assessment of sites using the UK SPA selection guidelines (available at English Nature also carries out consultations with interested parties on behalf of the Department.

Seed Imports

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many lots of
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seeds for (a) maize and sweetcorn, (b) winter oilseed rape, (c) spring oilseed rape, (d) sugar beet, (e) fodder beet, (f) beetroot and (g) winter brassicas were imported into the UK in each of the last six years; and what the (i) weight and (ii) country of origin of the seeds was in each year. [46866]

Mr. Bradshaw: Imports of seeds for sowing by country of despatch from 1999 to November 2005 are provided in the attached table.

Note that oilseed rape seeds are not separated into winter and spring varieties. Also imports of fodder beet seed are not separated from salad beet seed. Information is only available on the quantity of seeds imported rather than the number of individual consignments.

These statistics reflect levels of trade as recorded by traders. It is possible that some imports for consumption or processing have been inadvertently recorded as seed for sowing. They therefore need to be treated with a degree of caution.
UK imports of Seeds for 1999 to November 2005

DescriptionCountries199920002001200220032004January to November 2005
Maize SeedIrish Republic692263614,92319,82214,06412,447
Oil SeedsGermany152133217121,2962,931382352
Irish Republic112,8982,1703,6372,839
Sugar Beet SeedItaly38127243311
Beet other than Sugar BeetNetherlands4,5845,5676,6482,480000
Salad beet seed and fodder beet root seedNetherlands(3)(3)(3)(3)903424
Brassicas SeedNew Zealand02013365785
Grand Total22,63312,17218,713276,97049,74143,38528,515

(3) This was not recorded as a separate item until 2003
Data prepared by Trade statistics, Food Chain Analysis 3, DEFRA
2005 data is subject to amendments
H M Revenue and Customs

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