Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 60-63)



Mr Jack

  60. Can I ask a question, very quickly. In terms of your ideal enlarged separation distances, have there been any organic sites that have come within the current separation distances but which are inside, if you like, the larger distances?
  (Mr Holden) Yes, large numbers.

  61. And, if so, within your membership, have you measured whether there has been any cross-contamination in those situations?
  (Mr Holden) The answer is, there is quite a significant number; but the most vulnerable crop, namely, oil-seed rape, is hardly grown by organic producers, which means that that risk is vastly reduced. And the greatest proximity will be between oil-seed rape, obviously, because they are one of the main trial crops, and organic farms, and if there is not a compatible crop being grown, that is one set of risks removed, as it were, and maize. And, I do not know if you can improve on this answer, but, to the best of my knowledge, we have not, until now, encountered a maize crop which is sufficiently close to an organic maize crop to trigger testing from us.


  62. Well, thank you very much for coming along, it is good to see you both again; and you will know that we will be taking evidence, I think, next week, from the Minister and from the AEBC, and then publishing a short report on the outcome of those interviews, once we have had a chance to review them. Thank you very much, once again.
  (Ms Meziani) We have brought a couple of briefing sheets for members of the Sub-Committee, if you would like them.

  63. Yes, please; and, actually, the information you gave on the Pollen Research Institute guidelines that you have put forward to the Government?
  (Mr Holden) We can send you a copy of that. I do not think we have got that with us, but we will send you a copy.

  Chairman: That will be helpful. Thank you.

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