Genetically Modified Crops (Testing)

Environment and Rural Development – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:15 pm on 7th December 2006.

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Photo of Rob Gibson Rob Gibson Scottish National Party 2:15 pm, 7th December 2006

To ask the Scottish Executive whether it monitors the testing of crops for GM traits so that the necessary GM test templates can be made freely and widely available internationally. (S2O-11327)

Photo of Rhona Brankin Rhona Brankin Labour

No, because genetically modified organisms cannot be authorised for marketing in the European Union before a specific detection method is available, and those detection protocols are freely available on the Community reference laboratory website.

Photo of Rob Gibson Rob Gibson Scottish National Party

Given the recent controversy over LibertyLink rice 601, does the Scottish Executive believe that the competent authorities should routinely test imports for the presence of all the experimental traits that have been identified?

Photo of Rhona Brankin Rhona Brankin Labour

The issues raised in the question are currently subject to proceedings for judicial review, and as the question relates to an active case I am unable to comment at this stage. However, I can say that food and feed business operators, including importers, are responsible for ensuring that the products that they sell do not contain unauthorised GM ingredients. Enforcement of legislation on GM food and feed is the responsibility of local authorities, which are responsible for taking the necessary actions to ensure that imported food and feed comply with the requirements of food law, including the regulations governing the sale of GM food and feed.