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John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will list the sites in the UK which involve the experimental genetic engineering of plants to provide simple vaccinations; and which of these sites are in receipt of Government financial support. 
Mr. Meacher: There are no trial sites of GM plants in the UK for the production of vaccines under the deliberate release regulations. However, my Department is funding one research project which seeks to produce transgenic plants that express GM antibodies, which will provide protection against E.coli O157:H7 when ingested by livestock. If effective this would have the potential to reduce the level of E.coli O157 in livestock and hence reduce the risk of zoonotic transmission. The total cost of this project over three years and nine months is £350k.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is not aware of any current programmes in the UK which involve the production of GM plants for use as vaccines. They are aware of preliminary research aimed at developing GM apples intended to protect against dental caries, which is being carried out by a dental hospital in collaboration with a horticultural research centre.
A number of centres in the UK are investigating the potential use of GM plant viruses as human or animal vaccines. These centres include the Scottish Crop Research Institute, the John Innes Centre, and Horticulture Research International. These projects which include using Cow Pea Mosaic Virus to deliver human or animal antigens, have been notified to HSE under the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2000.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research has been commissioned by her Department on the likely impact of sea level rise on the land area of the United Kingdom; if a map of projected flooded areas has been produced; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Flood Management is a devolved responsibility. The Department has a wide ranging programme of research related to climate change and its impacts. Recent specific research commissioned for flood management has included an assessment by HR
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Wallingford Ltd. of Coastal Vulnerability in 2075. This considered the potential impact of sea level rise and related changes for typical coastal defence structures and generally confirmed that current allowances for sea level rise recommended by the Department are reasonable. These allowances are currently being further reviewed in the light of the Climate Impact Scenarios published by the Department earlier this year.
Climate change will increase the pressures on defences and increase the risk of flooding to defended areas, but will not significantly change the current maps of indicative coastal flood risk areas produced by the Environment Agency.
Mr. Meacher: In England, Planning Policy Guidance note 9 (PPG9) advises local authorities on nature conservation issues, including the importance of sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) and how they are to be treated in Local Plans and the planning framework. Planning authorities are required to consult English Nature before granting permission for development in, around or likely to affect SSSIs and to consider using their powers to impose conditions where necessary to avoid any damage to sites. Where a planning authority proposes to grant consent despite advice from English Nature to the effect that adverse impacts are likely to arise, the authority must inform English Nature so that it can consider whether to ask the Deputy Prime Minister to call in the application.
Improved measures to protect SSSIs have been taken by amendments to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, introduced in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. These concern both owners and occupiers and also public authorities in the exercise of their functions. Additional international nature conservation designations bring further levels of protection.
The Government indicated in the Green Paper"Planning: delivering a fundamental change"that it intended to review all PPGs. The review of PPG9 will enable it to be updated to reflect the recent legislative changes.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the EU Management Committee of the common organisations of agricultural markets for beef and veal is next due to meet; whether experts nominated by the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if she will make a statement. 
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from the Scottish Executive and other devolved administrations attend as necessary in accordance with their interests.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the EU Management Committee of the common organisations of agricultural markets for sheep and goats is next due to meet; whether experts nominated by the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Under Article 25 of Council Regulation 25292001 on the common organisation of the market in sheepmeat and goatmeat the Commission is mandated to establish a management committee to deal with market management of the sector and any matters arising for which the Commission has competence.
Within the previous 12 months the management committee has met on nine occasions. The Sheepmeat Management Committee is due to meet in two months time to review the market situation and the impact of the recent reforms.
UK representation on the EU's Sheep Management Committees depends on the agenda items under discussion. Officials from the Scottish Executive and other devolved administrations attend as necessary in accordance with their interests.
Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans her Department has to ensure that the EU packaging waste directive is fully (a) implemented and (b) complied with and that it is done so in a way that helps consumers return packaging to suppliers. 
Mr. Meacher: The current EC directive on packaging and packaging waste is fully implemented by the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 (as amended) and the Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 1998. A revision to the directive has been proposed. When this is finalised it is expected that it will be fully implemented in the UK through amendments to the existing regulations. Compliance with these regulations is monitored by the Environment Agencies. The new directive is expected to include higher targets for the recovery and recycling of packaging waste. As targets increase it will be necessary to recover more packaging material from the household waste stream, and we would therefore expect businesses and local authorities to work together closely to ensure that adequate household collection systems are set up.
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Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) in the event that advice on aspects of fisheries management is devolved to regional advisory councils, with which EU member states the Government intends to co-operate in establishing these RACs; and what range of stakeholders she envisages holding membership of them; 
The UK is supportive of the general principle behind the establishment of regional advisory councils, but the precise role to be given to them will be one of the important matters to be addressed in the forthcoming negotiations in the Council of Ministers. Decisions as to the regions to be covered, and the range of stakeholders to be involved and the member states from which they should be drawn, will have to be considered in consultation with interested parties once the Council has established more clearly the remit of the proposed RACs.
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