PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES

HOUSE OF COMMONS

OFFICIAL REPORT

Fifth Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.

DRAFT GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS (NORTHERN IRELAND) ORDER 1991

Tuesday 16 July 1991

LONDON: HMSO

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1

The Committee consisted of the following Members:

Chairman: MR. GERAINT HOWELLS

Barnes, Mr. Harry (Derbyshire, North-East)

Butcher, Mr. John (Coventry, South-West)

Canavan, Mr. Dennis (Falkirk, West)

Channon, Mr. Paul (Southend, West)

Corbyn, Mr. Jeremy (Islington, North)

Currie, Mrs. Edwina (Derbyshire, South)

Flannery, Mr. Martin (Sheffield, Hillsborough)

Hamilton, Mr. Neil (Tatton)

Hicks, Mrs. Maureen (Wolverhampton, North-East)

Lee, Mr. John (Pendle)

McNamara, Mr. Kevin (Kingston upon Hull, North)

Marshall, Mr. Jim (Leicester, South)

Morrison, Sir Charles (Devizes)

Needham, Mr. Richard (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland)

Peacock, Mrs. Elizabeth (Batley and Spen)

Sayeed, Mr. Jonathan (Bristol, East)

Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast, South)

Stott, Mr. Roger (Wigan)

Vaughan, Sir Gerald (Reading, East)

Mr. F. A. Cranmer, Committee Clerk

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3 Fifth Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c. Tuesday 16 July 1991

[MR. GERAINT HOWELLS in the Chair]

Draft Genetically Modified Organisms (Northern Ireland) Order 1991

10.30 am

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Richard Needham): I beg to move, That the Committee has considered the Draft Genetically Modified Organisms (Northern Ireland) Order 1991. The order was laid before the House on 4 July. As I did not get to bed until half past four this morning, I sympathise with genetically modified organisms. The order provides for a new system of controls over genetically modified organisms. GMOs are the products of scientific experiment, involving the use of artificial methods of reproduction through alteration or deletion of genes. The order will place controls on GMOs in Northern 4 Ireland on a similar footing to those in the rest of the United Kingdom, and extend the existing controls system, which relates mainly to the protection of human health and safety at work, to the wider environment. There are three main elements to the order. First, there will be a requirement on people importing, acquiring, keeping, marketing or releasing GMOs to carry out a risk assessment. In certain cases, it will be necessary to notify or obtain the consent of the Department. Secondly, the order will require that the best available techniques—not entailing excessive cost—be used to prevent damage to the environment. Thirdly, the order contains power to make regulations and will provide for the appointment of inspectors by the Department. The order, which will enable the United Kingdom to comply with the relevant EC directives, will afford a major degree of protection to the Environment. I commend the order to the Committee.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That the Committee has considered the Draft Genetically Modified Organisms (Northern Ireland) Order 1991.

Committee rose at twenty-nine minutes to Eleven o'clock.

THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:

Howells, Mr. Geraint (Chairman)

Channon, Mr.

Hamilton, Mr. Neil

Hicks, Mrs. Maureen

Lee, Mr.

Marshall, Mr. Jim

Morrison, Sir Charles

Needham, Mr.

Peacock, Mrs.

Sayeed, Mr.

Smyth, Rev. Martin

Vaughan, Sir Gerard