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Mr. Bradshaw: Discarding at sea is carried out not only as a result of quota limitations under the CFP, but also in reaction to the particular economics of the industry at the time, for example the prevailing prices of respective species. No systematic recording of this process is undertaken at community level to produce an accurate estimate of the total tonnage of all species discarded.
Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made by (a) her Department and (b) the Environment Agency of the causes of the River Roding flood on 30 October 2000; and what (i) schemes are in place and (ii) plans have been made to prevent a future flood. 
Mr. Morley: Defra has policy responsibility for management of flood risk in England, funds most of the Environment Agency's flood risk activities and provides grant aid on a project by project basis to the other flood risk management operating authorities to support their investment in improvement works. The Agency has powers to undertake works on designated main rivers" while the London borough of Redbridge (LBR) has similar powers for ordinary watercourses". Defra has funded three studies carried out by LBR since 2000 on the non-main river aspects of flood risk.
The Agency believes the flooding was primarily caused by the surface water drainage system backing up and being unable to discharge into the river. This affected properties and roads in the Chigwell Road area of Woodford Green.
Since 2000, the Agency has carried out repairs to a low spot in the flood defences behind the Broadmead Baptist Church and selective de-silting and reed removal upstream and downstream of Chigwell Road to
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maintain channel flow capacity. Thames Water and LBR have repaired missing or broken flap valves to the outfalls in the river. This will prevent river water backing up into the drainage system at times of high flow but a risk of flooding remains because surface water drainage will not be able to discharge into the river during periods of high flows.
The Agency is to complete a flood risk management strategy for the Roding Catchment early this summer. A flood storage area in the upper catchment of the Roding is considered to be the most sustainable solution, economically and environmentally. The Agency patrols for debris every other month, carries out annual tree/hedge/bankside vegetation management during winter months, ad-hoc blockage/obstruction removal and regular inspections and monitoring of flood defence assets.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to enable post-release monitoring of the potential health and environmental effects of a genetically modified organism to take place as required by EU Directive 2001/18. 
Mr. Morley: The UK has fully implemented directive 2001/18/EC. This directive requires that a company which submits an individual GMO for approval provides a plan setting out the post-market monitoring that they will carry out. This plan is then considered as part of the application, revised if necessary to the satisfaction of scientific experts, and its implementation is then made a condition of any consent issued.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the public consultations on co-existence between genetically modified (GM) and non-GM crops is expected to begin. 
Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects to secure from the EU traditional speciality guaranteed status for pork and bacon from pedigree Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Officials have worked closely with the applicant group seeking to register the name, Gloucestershire Old Spots Pigmeat, as a traditional speciality guaranteed product (TSG) under the EU Protected Food Name Scheme. The application was forwarded to the Commission for their consideration in 2004. The Commission has six months within which to consider such applications although this period can be extended if the Commission raise questions about the application.
We are still waiting to hear from the Commission whether it has got any queries about the application and share the concern of the applicant group about the long delay. That is why we have been in regular contact with the Commission over the last 18 months to chase up progress on this application. Until we hear from the Commission it is difficult to give an indication as to when the application process will be completed. Officials last contacted the Commission on 23 January 2006 and understand that a response is imminent.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the UK Government's position is on the European Commission's policy of imposing fines on the French government in relation to the adoption of EU legislation on the handling of genetically modified organisms, with particular reference to the need to introduce safety standards. 
Under the Treaty of Rome, it is properly the function of the European Commission to pursue action against member states that fail to implement EC Directives. The UK Governments' policy is to implement EU directives; Directive 90/219/EEC as amended by 98/81/EC on the contained use of genetically modified micro-organisms has been fully transposed into UK law.
Provided competition law is respected, the Government does not get involved in discussions about price. However, issues around the state of the industry are regularly discussed in the Dairy Supply Chain Forum, which is chaired by my noble Friend, Lord Bach. Ministers also make regular dairy-related visits, for example my noble Friend, Lord Bach visited a dairy farm on 27 January.
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Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what discussions she has had with English Nature about the likely impact on Monks Wood National Nature Reserve of the proposed closure of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology Research Establishment; 
(2) what assessment she has made of the likely impact on the management of Monks Wood National Nature Reserve of the proposed closure of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology Research Establishment. 
Mr. Morley: The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is currently consulting widely with stakeholders on proposals on how best the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology can contribute on a sustainable basis to maintaining the quality of environmental science in the UK. DEFRA will be responding to this consultation.
English Nature undertakes the management of the Monks Wood National Nature Reserve, and will also have the opportunity to respond to the consultation. NERC will need to consider all the evidence and views on the potential impact of the proposals, including any representations a bout the Monks Wood National Nature Reserve.
Mr. Bradshaw: The figures requested are given in the following table. In 2002 Austria had the highest proportion with 8.7 per cent. of farmland being dedicated to organic farming, Ireland and Greece were lowest with only 0.7 per cent. being dedicated organic land. As a whole, 3.8 per cent. of utilised agricultural area in EU-15 countries was dedicated to organic farming in 2002, up from 1.8 per cent. in 1998. Currently, 2002 are the most up to date figures available with these only being available for EU-15 countries.
|Country||Percentage of farmland organic|
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