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GM Plants and UK National List of Varieties

Lord Beaumont of Whitley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hayman: Regulation 31 of the Seeds (National Lists of Varieties) Regulations 1982 (as amended) requires that, except as provided for in Regulation 32, seed of agricultural and vegetable varieties shall not be marketed unless the variety in question is on a National List or a EC Common Catalogue. GM plant varieties may be entered on the UK National List only if a marketing consent has been promulgated under Directive 90/220/EEC on the Deliberate Release into the Environment of Genetically Modified Organisms and an authorisation has been issued, where appropriate, under the Novel Food Regulations.

There are no GM plant varieties on the UK National List and no marketing has, therefore, taken place from that source. Two GM chicory varieties (FIRESTONE and SAM) were added to the EC Vegetable Common Catalogue on 15 June 1999 under marketing consent reference C/NL/94/25, which restricts marketing to plant breeding activities and excludes their use for human or animal feed. There is no requirement under that consent to notify member states of such marketing activity.

Pet Travel Scheme

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Hayman: We have provided the French veterinary authorities with details of the pilot Pet Travel Scheme, which we have asked them to pass on to veterinary surgeons in France. The French Government has sent us copies of a rabies certificate for use by French residents wishing to take part in the Pet Travel Scheme, and a tick and tapeworm treatment certificate. Their printing and distribution to veterinary surgeons in France is a matter for the French Government. Discussions with the French authorities on the surveillance of carrier activities in relation to the scheme are continuing.

Agricultural Community: EU Obligations

Lord Inglewood asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How they are honouring their obligation under EC Treaty Article 33(1)(b).[HL828]

Baroness Hayman: Article 33 of the Treaty of Rome sets out the five objectives of the common agricultural policy, of which ensuring a fair standard of living for the agricultural community is one. Responsiblity rests with the European Commission to propose legislation and with the Council of Ministers, and in some cases the European Commission, to adopt legislation to meet the objectives in the Treaty.

Cattle TB: Report

Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle Tuberculosis will publish its second report.[HL902]

Baroness Hayman: We are pleased to tell the House that the second report by the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB is published today. The report sets out progress made so far on the wide-ranging research measures being taken to combat cattle TB as well as plans for work to be undertaken in the future. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House.

Floods: Environment Agency Action Plan

Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress the Environment Agency has made in implementing its action plan in response to the independent report on the Easter 1998 floods.[HL901]

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Baroness Hayman: While there were no further specific actions timed for completion by the end December 1999, the Environment Agency has nevertheless kept the Ministry informed of progress up to that date.

For flood forecasting, all the Environment Agency's regions are working on delivering the first phase of their hydrometric monitoring network improvement programmes by April 2000.

The work relating to flood warning is progressing well. The National Flood Warning Centre is established and the necessary relationships with other national bodies are being actively developed.

Flood risk maps have been produced and were disseminated to local planning authorities and emergency planners in September 1999. The agency is using the maps to identify high-risk properties on a consistent basis to aid targeting of direct warnings and public awareness material. Local authorities are using the maps for both development control and emergency planning purposes. The information in the maps will be made publicly available so that people can make informed decisions about flood risks.

The agency has further improved liaison arrangements with local authorities and emergency services at both local and national level to ensure effective response to flooding incidents.

A flood warning public awareness campaign commenced in October. Plans are being developed for revised flood warning codes to be introduced in September 2000, with appropriate publicity.

Visual inspection of all flood defences continues against a deadline of April 2000. The agency has set up meetings to resolve isolated problems where local authorities have not always been able to identify the location of defences on ordinary watercourses.

The agency continues its work in implementing the recommendations in the independent report on its management and skills.

We are pleased to note the agency's continuing progress in implementing the Easter Floods report, contributing to achievement of the ministerial priority of a seamless and integrated service of flood forecasting, warning and response.

We shall ensure that the House is updated on progress in implementing the final phases of the action plan, including the introduction of new flood warning codes in September 2000.

Agriculture Development Scheme Grants

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What grants have been offered under the Agriculture Development Scheme.[HL882]

Baroness Hayman: We are pleased that offers of some £2 million in marketing grants have been made under the Agriculture Development Scheme. Around 35 per cent of the money will benefit the pig sector

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directly and some of the other projects directed at the livestock sector will also help pig producers. Overall, we are assisting a wide range of sectors and regions. The following organisations have been offered grant aid:

SectorLead organisationProject
PigsAssured British MeatNational assurance database information and administration system (pigs module)
PigsAssured British MeatABM Assured Britsh Pigs Scheme data merger
PigsBOCM Pauls LtdMaximising pig carcass value
Pigs/organicEastbrook Farm Organic Meats LtdGrowing the organic pigmeat market from a UK production base
PigsFood Trak plcTraceability in the pig meat supply chain
PigsJSR Farms LtdIntegrated pig meat supply initiative
PigsLadies In PigsA catering college's initiative to secure the future for British pigmeat in catering
PigsMeat & Livestock CommissionProject 2: improving supply chain communications
PigsNational Pig AssociationA risk management initiative for the UK pig industry
PigsUnited Pig MarketingA shared IT and information system for UPM and its supply chain partners
PigsUniversity of AberdeenA training package for the British pig industry using multi-media technology
BeefGlendale Beef ProducersGlendale Beef Producers initiative
Beef/dairyWarwickshire Quality CalvesImproving the value of beef calves from the dairy herd
DairyNational Milk Records plcProposal for a south-west dairy information network
Dairy/organicOrganic Milk Suppliers Co-operativeDesign and initial implementation of a novel technology transfer and quality management system on organic dairy farms
Dairy/specialtyBusiness Link Bradford & DistrictFeasibility study into potential for a yoghurt production facility for the Asian community
EggsBritish Free Range Egg Producers AssociationBritish Free Range Egg Marketing Company Ltd
SheepBritish Sheep Dairying AssociationImplementation of structural development of the sheep dairy sector
Sheep/specialityBusiness Link Bradford & DistrictNew routes to new markets--investigation into ways of making better use of sheepmeat products to the benefit of producers
Wild boarThe British Wild Boar AssociationTo improve collaborative marketing activity between primary and secondary producers of British farmed wild boar
Livestock generalAssured British MeatMultiple retail caterers--food safety assurance module
Livestock generalAssured British MeatAssurance chain--focus farms
Livestock general/ regional/ specialityAssured British MeatAssurance and food heritage
Livestock generalFarmway LtdMarketing co-operatively produced branded pork, beef and lamb through "Farmway" co-operative stores: a feasibility study
Livestock generalHarper Adams University CollegeBuilding regional enterprise and agricultural competitiveness though IT (Breakthrough-IT)
Livestock generalMeadow Valley Livestock LtdImproving farmers' efficiency and returns by directing them to market-led, added value marketing schemes
Livestock generalSouth East Primestock Producers (SEPP) LtdA plan for regional growth and farmer
Livestock general/ organic/ specialityHumane Slaughter AssociationMobile slaughter unit 2000
Nursery stockHorticultural Trades AssociationA project to influence structural change in the landscape supply chain to build value in the soft landscape market
Nursery stockHorticultural Trades AssociationA project to extend the HTA nursery certification scheme to include the inspection and supply of local provenance
Nursery stockHorticultural Trades AssociationA project to develop a greater understanding of the supply chain within the nurserystock sector
OnionsBritish Onion Producers OrganisationSector analysis of the onion market
PotatoesHereward GrowersCollaborative marketing initiative
Soft fruitAdvanced Marketing Services LtdSoft fruit development for category management
Soft fruitThe Berryworld Producers' Organisation LtdDevelopment of an intergrated traceability system for the soft fruit industry
TomatoesTomato Growers AssociationInvestigation into the development of an integrated quality management system for the British tomato industry
Top fruitFruition Group LtdRationalisation: the basis of a full category player
Horticulture generalCheckmate InternationalBenchmarking services for the EUREP GAP framework
Horticulture generalInstitute of Grocery DistributionBenchmarking the industry
Combinable cropsSamuel Rose LtdPromoting vertical intergration through farmer collaboration in agricultural supply chains
Combinable cropsUnited Grain Producers"The Marlborough Group" (working together to improve farm incomes)
Farmers' marketsNational Association of Farmers MarketsTogether to market
Direct sellingFarm Retail AssociationRed and green box scheme feasibility study
ViticultureThe Magpie ConsultancyFormation of a collaborative marketing company owned by producers and devoted to the marketing development of the wines & vineyards of England
TroutLongford EstateCo-ordinated approach to trout marketing
GeneralPlunkett FoundationIncreasing competitiveness in the farmer controlled business sector through the use of best practice benchmarking
GeneralLantraIncreasing the competitiveness of the land based sector

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