Clause 18 - Precision breeding register

Part of Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:45 pm on 5 July 2022.

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Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 3:45, 5 July 2022

Once again, I hear the Minister’s point, and again, the additional information from the Food Standards Agency, which I suspect we will look at more closely as we proceed, is helpful. It occasionally feels as if I am in a very large room with the lights off, holding a very small torch, and every now and then, I turn it on and can gradually discern part of the structure emerging. I have a feeling that the Minister has had the lights on the whole time. That is the problem: we are beginning, bit by bit, to get a sense of how the measures might work, but if we are trying to persuade the wider world about how the system will work, it would be better to turn the lights on at the beginning.

I still think there is some difficulty. Yes, we welcome the register, but I notice that the Minister did not address commercial confidentiality. I appreciate that that is not simple, but there is a danger that the register ends up being very limited indeed, and that would be disappointing. I would much rather have the opportunity to look at the matter again later as the secondary legislation comes through, because it is too important to go through without further consideration. On that basis, I will divide the Committee on the amendment.