Previous Section Index Home Page

GM Crops

Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps are being taken to develop mechanisms (a) to prevent an increase in GM presence in conventional seeds and produce and (b) to prevent GM contamination of organic seeds and produce; and with whom this responsibility lies. [46622]

Mr. Meacher: The European Union has agreed interim measures to limit adventitious presence of approved GMOs in non-GM seeds to 0.5 per cent. More specific proposals are under discussion within the European Union. These would set cross-pollination thresholds ranging from 0.3 per cent. to 0.7 per cent. (depending on the species) in seed, in order broadly to keep GM presence in the resulting produce below the 1 per cent. threshold set for food. The Government are also considering what measures might be required to facilitate the co-existence of ordinary (non-seed) GM and non-GM crops and who should be responsible for such measures. For seed production, the grower of the seed crop is normally responsible for observing rules to achieve the desired level of seed purity. With organic seeds and produce, as with conventional seeds and produce, it is not possible to guarantee that GM cross-pollination will not occur, but we would like to aim for the lowest practical level, bearing in mind relevant factors, including the need to protect non-GM produce, the views of stakeholders, the practicalities of detection at low levels, and the costs involved.

Climate Change

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the external organisations set up by her as part of the Government's strategy to combat climate changes indicating (a) their remits and (b) their sources at funding. [50448]

Mr. Meacher: The Department, together with the Devolved Administrations, set up the Carbon Trust in April 2001. It is a private, not for profit organisation whose remit is to recycle around £100 million of climate change levy receipts over three years to accelerate the take

22 Apr 2002 : Column 13W

up of cost effective, low carbon technologies by business and levy payers. It receives funding from my Department and the Devolved Administrations.

In 1997, the Department also established the UK Climate Impacts Programme to help the public and private sector assess the impacts of climate change and plan how to adapt to it. We currently provide around £0.5 million a year to fund the (UKCIP).

Many other organisations from both the private and public sectors also assist the Government with it's climate change strategy. These include the Emissions Trading

22 Apr 2002 : Column 14W

Group, the Climate Change Projects Office, the Energy Saving Trust, the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, the Tyndall Centre, and more besides.

European Environmental Directives

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information she has collated in respect of the time taken to implement European environmental directives since May 1997. [49266]

Mr. Meacher: The table lists environment directives published since May 1997 alongside their transposition or expected transposition date.

Directive number TitlePublished in official journalExpected transposition date Transposed
97/49The conservation of birds29 July 199729 July 1997
97/62The conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora27 October 199730 January 1998
98/11Energy labelling of household lamps27 January 19981 July 1999
98/15Amending Council Directive 91/271/EEC with respect to certain requirements established in Annex 1 thereof (Urban waste water treatment)27 February 199827 August 1998
98/83Water Intended for Human Consumption3 November 1998September 2002
99/9Energy labelling household dishwashers26 February 19998 July 1999
99/13Solvents11 March 1999December 2002
99/22Keeping Wild Animals in Zoos29 March 1999May 2003
99/30Limit Values of Sulphur Dioxide and Nitrogen22 April 19991 May 2002
99/31Disposal of Waste by Landfill26 April 1999June 2002
99–32 Sulphur Content of Liquid Fuels26 April 199911 March 2002
99/51The marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations26 May 1999November 2002
2000/55 Energy efficiency requirements for ballasts for fluorescent lighting18 September 200021 May 2002
2000/60Establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy.23 October 2000December 2003
2000/76Incineration of Waste4 December 2000December 2002
2001/18Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 March 2001 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms and repealing Council Directive 90/220/EEC12 March 200117 October 2002
2001/80/EC Limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from large combustion plants23 October 200127 November 2002
2001/81/EC National emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants23 October 200127 November 2002
2002/3/ECOzone in ambient air12 February 20029 September 2003
2002/31/EC Energy Labelling of household air conditioners22 March 20021 January 2003

Marine Conservation

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost is of her Department's two-year pilot project for regional marine conservation in the North sea. [46990]

Mr. Meacher: The Department has a service level agreement with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee to carry out the regional seas pilot in the Irish sea. The project should be completed by March 2004 and is planned to cost £397,200.

Noise Pollution

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of noise pollution in the London borough of Havering. [49694]

Mr. Meacher: No specific assessment has been made of environmental noise across the whole of the London borough of Havering. The Government announced in their Rural White Paper (November 2000) the decision to consult on a national ambient noise strategy. The consultation on the development of this strategy—Towards a National Ambient Noise Strategy—closed on 15 March this year, the results of which will be published in due course. A significant contribution to the development of the strategy will be the determination of exposure to environmental noise through noise mapping. The London borough of Havering will be considered in this exercise.

Endangered Species

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the World Wildlife Fund about the protection of endangered species; and if she will make a statement. [50469]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 16 April 2002]: The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have contacted me about the trade in endangered species twice in recent months.

22 Apr 2002 : Column 15W

The first was to ask me to jointly fund with them an officer at TRAFFIC International to help support wildlife law enforcement in the UK. I was pleased to agree to this and we are making £50,000 available over the next two years.

The second enclosed a copy of the report 'Traded to Extinction?' launching WWF's illegal wildlife trade campaign. I will be meeting WWF to discuss their concerns about this shortly.

Waste Disposal

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what radioactive and toxic waste was dumped in the Irish sea from 1 May 2001 to 28 February 2002; what the origin of this radioactive and toxic waste was; and if she will make a statement. [47049]

Mr. Meacher: The UK ceased all sea dumping of radioactive waste in 1982, and all sea dumping of industrial waste in 1992. The only material now licensed for disposal at sea is dredged sediment from ports, harbours etc., and small amounts of fish waste. All such disposal is rigorously controlled under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 to ensure that the marine environment and ecosystems are protected.

Farm Waste

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Government will publish the DEFRA consultation paper on farm waste. [48304]

Mr. Meacher: We are preparing the regulations necessary to apply the provisions of the Waste Framework Directive to those types of agricultural waste which are not excluded from control under Article 2. A regulatory impact assessment (RIA) is also being prepared. On completion, the draft regulations and RIA will be issued for consultation with the farming industry and other interested groups. A firm date for publication of the consultation paper has not yet been set but our aim is to publish it later in the spring. I will ensure that a copy of the consultation paper is sent to the hon. Member when it is issued.

Next Section Index Home Page