To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has received notification from the European Commission of its intentions to table a proposal not to continue its zero tolerance policy on the presence of unauthorised genetically modified organisms in food and food ingredients; if he will convene a meeting to develop a UK-wide position on this issue with the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland administrations; if he will hold a full public consultation on any such proposal once the details have been published; and if he will make a statement setting out the Government's policy on this issue.
At a Standing Committee meeting in Brussels on
The regulation defines a “technical zero” of 0.1%, which is the lowest level where results are satisfactorily reproducible between official laboratories when appropriate sampling protocols and methods of analysis are applied. This “technical zero” only applies in certain circumstances where the GM material is approved in the country of origin and its safety is already being assessed for approval in the EU.
The Government supported the previous regulation in 2011 in line with its policy commitment that regulation of GM organisms should be pragmatic and proportionate, without compromising safety. When the Commission issues its new proposal, there will, as usual, be public consultation and the United Kingdom voting position will be determined according to established procedures, which include seeking the views of the devolved Administrations.