Food: Genetically Modified Organisms

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 22 May 2024.

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Photo of Virginia Crosbie Virginia Crosbie Conservative, Ynys Môn

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of genetically modified foods on public health; whether he has had discussions with corporations involved in the manufacture of genetically modified foods about indemnities for potential future harms; what the annual budget is for the Genetic Modification Inspectorate (GMI); and what plans he has for future funding for the GMI in the context of the potential impact of the Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2022 on the planting of genetically modified crops.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

i) All GM food and feed products must undergo an extensive and robust risk assessment process under the Food Standards Agency’s GM regulatory framework to ensure they are safe. The risk assessment involves a thorough assessment of whether the food could be toxic, its nutritional value and whether it could cause allergic reactions. GMOs will only be approved to enter the food chain if they are judged to not present a risk to health, not mislead consumers, and not have less nutritional value than existing equivalent products.

After an authorisation has been issued in accordance with the GM food and feed regulations, authorisation holders are required to inform government of any new scientific or technical information which might influence the evaluation carried out of the safety in use of the food or feed. ii) The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has not had discussions or been approached by corporations interested in exploring indemnities for future harms, should they occur and are revealed to have proven links to GMO foods. iii) The current annual budget for the Genetic Modification Inspectorate (GMI) is covered within the gross funding model under the Animal and Plant Health Agency commission from Defra, and as such it is not possible to draw out any specific amount relating to this. As of May 2024, there have been 16 field trials using the Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2022. The GMI has not reported any additional demands as a result.

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No2 people think not

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