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National Museums and Galleries: Ticketing

The Earl of Clancarty asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: National museums and galleries have tendered out exhibition or other ticketing services in the last five years to private companies as follows:

British MuseumFirst Call Group, for tickets to temporary exhibitions;
Imperial War MuseumTicketmaster, for provision of some of the ticketing services for the annual programme of air shows at Duxford, since January 1998. Such tickets may be purchased as part of combined offers with local hotels and the WAGN railway network;
National GalleryEdwards and Edwards, First Call Group, Keith Prowse and FNAC Billetterie, for tickets to temporary exhibitions;
National Maritime MuseumFirst Call Group, for the Titanic exhibition 1995-96;
Royal ArmouriesTicketnet, for tickets to temporary exhibitions;
Tate GalleryBox Office Spectacle du Monde, First Call Group, and FNAC Billetterie, for tickets to temporary exhibitions;
Victoria and Albert MuseumFirst Call Group, Ticketmaster, and Edwards and Edwards, for tickets to temporary exhibitions.

No national museums and galleries have contracted out ticketing services to private companies for general admission, except for the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, where they are operated by Royal Armouries (International) plc.

GM and non-GM Crops: Pollen Dispersal

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What distances need to be enforced to prevent pollen pollution between genetically modified maize and unmodified maize and between genetically modified oil seed rape and unmodified oil seed rape; and what distances have been arranged in trial areas.[HL3159]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): The Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) has advised that the information from decades of experience with producing seeds to specific purity levels can be used to

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estimate the level of cross-pollination which is likely to occur between crops in adjacent fields at specific distances. It is not possible to guarantee that no cross-pollination will occur, even with very large separation distances, although the amount of cross-pollination decreases rapidly with distance.

In evaluating a proposed release of a genetically modified (GM) plant for research purposes ACRE always take account of pollen dispersal by all means and its likely consequences. Based on the type of GM plant, how it has been modified and the circumstances of the proposed release it may be judged necessary to minimise the potential for cross-pollination of neighbouring sexually compatible crops or wild relatives by the GM plants. The precautions taken to prevent or reduce cross-pollination may include the removal of flowers or the setting of specific isolation distances between GM and non-GM plants or borders of non-GM plants around the plots of GM plants. Where isolation distances are set these are not intended to prevent pollen spread but to reduce pollen spread as far as is practically possible.

All crops in the farm-scale evaluations are being grown in accordance with the SCIMAC (Supply Chain Initiative on Modified Agricultural Crops) Code of Practice and Guidelines. The guidelines set out proposed separation distances between GM and non-GM crops and are based on internationally recognised criteria for ensuring high purity in seed production. The recommended separation distances in respect of oilseed rape and forage maize are as follows.

CropCertified seed crops (Same species)Registered organic crops (Same species) non-GM crops (Same species)
Oilseed Rape200m2000m50m
Forage Maize200m200m 200m Sweetcorn 50m Forage maize

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Scotland: Concordats

Lord Selkirk of Douglas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which concordats relating to Scotland have been redrafted.[HL3698]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (Lord Sewel): None.

Lord Selkirk of Douglas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many concordats there are relating to Scotland; what areas they cover; and when they will be published.[HL3697]

Lord Sewel: The UK Government intend proposing a range of concordats. These will guide working relations between the UK Government and the Scottish Executive covering the spectrum of governmental business in which the UK Government and Scottish Executive have shared interests or the actions of one may impact on the other. They will be published once they have been agreed with the Scottish Executive.

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