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6 Nov 2002 : Column 372Wcontinued
Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with EU farm Ministers about the equalization of farm modulation across the EU; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 4 November 2002]: The government support the European Commission's proposal to introduce compulsory modulation across the European Union, although our support will depend on the detail of its implementation. This issue was discussed at the October 2002 Agriculture Council and I have raised it in various meetings with European Agriculture Ministers and with Commissioner Fischler.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will place full versions of the two DEFRA reports into the economic viability of Sellafield in the Library. 
Margaret Beckett: Two reports about the economic case for the Sellafield MOX plant, by PA Consulting and AD Little, were published by Ministers for consultation in 1999 and 2001. The published versions omitted some commercially confidential information.
In an arbitration under the terms of the OSPAR Convention, which was heard in The Hague from 21 to 25 October, Ireland is seeking full versions of the reports. The Government maintains that it is entitled to withhold commercially confidential information from the published versions of the two reports and that this did not significantly affect the ability of consultees to comment on the economic case for the plant.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will add the six figure grid references for the 200102 National Seed Listing Trials planted under 00/R33/6 to the public register. 
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which of the National Seed Listing trials for GM crops planted between Autumn 2001 and Spring 2002 were completed. 
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|Type of Test or Trial||Location|
|Distinctness Uniformity and Stability||Sand Hutton, Yorkshire|
|Value for Cultivation and Use||Thorganby, Lincolnshire|
|Hinton Waldrist, Oxfordshire|
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what dates Ministers in her Department have held meetings with members and officials of the United States Administration since 8 June 2001; where each meeting was held; which Ministers were involved in each meeting; which United States Administration department attended each meeting; and which members and officials from the United States Administration attended each of these meetings. 
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Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the expenditure within the EU on the subsidising of exports of surplus agricultural production for which figures are available in the last year; and how much of the total comes from (a) EU and (b) national funding. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 4 November 2002]: The European Union spent 3.4 billion euro on export refunds in its 2001 financial year. So far as we are aware, no member state uses national funds for this purpose.
Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the additional weekly expenditure for the average family in purchasing food in consequence of the difference between EU and world prices in the most recent annual period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 4 November 2002]: In 2000 the CAP is estimated to have increased the cost of food for a notional UK family of four by #45 per week. Taking account of the additional cost borne by taxpayers the figure rises to #89 per week.
Mr. Morley: International trade in Brazilian mahogany is controlled under the terms of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to which the UK is a party. Brazilian big leaf mahogany is listed in Appendix III of the Convention which requires that mahogany exported must have been acquired in accordance with the national laws for the protection of fauna and flora. Where importers of mahogany present an export permit issued by the Management Authority in Brazil confirming that the mahogany has been legally acquired, imports are allowed.
However, we are concerned about the current position with relation to mahogany imports from Brazil. A proposal is currently under discussion at the Conference of the CITES Parties to list Brazilian big leaf mahogany on Appendix II. The UK along with the rest of the European Union is supporting this proposal which would allow importing states to reach their own scientific judgement as to the sustainability of the trade.
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Mr. Morley: The Association of British Insurers have stated that all properties defended to at least a standard of 1.3 per cent. (1 in 75) annual probability, should be able to obtain cover. Properties currently protected to a lesser extent, but where defences to meet the above standard are planned for the next 5 years, should also be able to get cover. The ABI have assured us that undefended properties or ''exceptional cases'' will be assessed on an individual basis and consideration given as to whether some form of insurance cover can be given. Many of the properties which the ABI estimate will not be able to obtain cover, have never have been able to get flood insurance.
The decision to move away from the existing agreement means that, in the majority of cases, people can and should shop around for the best deal. However, it must be recognised that insurance companies need to take a commercial decision as to what risk they will cover and on what terms. It is impossible to make a generalisation about areas where flood cover will be unavailable as in a competitive market as what is unacceptable to one company may well be acceptable to another.
Gareth Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Government will publish their response to the Environmental Audit Committee's Fourth Report of Session 200102, Measuring the Quality of Life: The 2001 Sustainable Development Headline Indicators. 
Mr. Meacher: I am pleased to announce that I have today, laid in the libraries of both Houses, copies of the Government's response to the Environmental Audit Committee's Fourth Report of the 20012002 session, ''Measuring the Quality of Life: The 2001 Sustainable Development Headline Indicators''.
The Government's response reinforces our commitment to reporting progress towards sustainable development, particularly through a set of headline indicators. In our sustainable development strategy ''A better quality of life'', published in 1999, we envisaged a full review of both the strategy and all the indicators after five years, which we will aim to complete by the end of 2004.
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