Genetically Modified Organisms

House of Lords written question – answered on 27th January 2011.

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Photo of The Countess of Mar The Countess of Mar Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has received notification of the export of genetically modified mosquito eggs to Brazil by the United Kingdom company Oxitec for deliberate release experiments under EC regulation 1946/2003; if so, when they were notified; and whether they will provide a copy of the associated risk assessment.

To ask Her Majesty's Government, based on the export notifications sent to them under EC regulation 1946/2003, what were the dates of the exports of genetically modified mosquito eggs by the United Kingdom company Oxitec to (a) the Cayman Islands, (b) Malaysia, (c) Brazil, (d) France, (e) India, (f) Singapore, (g) Thailand, (h) the United States, and (i) Vietnam.

Photo of Lord Henley Lord Henley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Exports of genetically modified organisms are only required to be notified to the UK competent authority under regulation 1946/2003 if they are to be exported to a non-EU country for release into the environment. Movements of CMOs between EU member states are not covered by this requirement. Nor are exports to non-EU countries where the GMO is intended for contained use, as was the case in respect of the shipment of mosquito eggs by Oxitec to Malaysia, Brazil, India, Singapore, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam. The date of the export of GM mosquito eggs to the Cayman Islands for release to the environment was 4 November 2009.

If importing nations wish to release GM mosquitoes descended from those under contained use they will do so under their own local legislation. Where the country of import is also a party to the Cartagena Protocol, an international agreement which aims to ensure the safe handling, transport and use of living modified organisms, it will be required to notify such a decision to the biosafety clearing house.

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