§ Mr. Baker
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 14 May 1998,Official Report, columns 198–99, how many National Seed List applications have been made since 14 May; and how many of those (a) are now listed, (b) were unsuccessful and (c) are still awaiting approval. 
§ Mr. Rooker
[holding answer 28 July 1998]: Since 14 May 1998 a total of 11 National List applications have been made. As indicated in my answer of 14 May 1998, DUS tests and VCU trials are conducted on such applications pursuant to Regulation 11 (1) of the Seeds (National List of Varieties) Regulations 1982 as amended. Such tests and trials normally involve a minimum of two growing seasons and therefore in answer to (a) none is currently listed, (b) none is yet unsuccessful, and (c) none will be considered for approval until completion of the necessary tests and trials.
§ Mr. Baker
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 14 May 1998,Official Report, columns 198–99, on which date in 1995 the decision was made not to require applicants for National Seeds Lists to comply with Regulation 11(3) and by whom; and for what reasons the information was deemed of little value. 353W
§ Mr. Rooker
[holding answer 28 July 1998]: The requirement to submit the results of replicated trials was introduced (in 1979 initially) to reduce the volume of National List applications for the common species to a manageable level. Its purpose was to encourage breeders to screen varieties before entering them into the statutory system and to deter them from entering varieties which had little chance of addition to the National List, at a time when the trialling system was overloaded and also heavily subsidised by the tax payer.
A fundamental review of the National List trials system was undertaken in 1992, in consultation with plant breeders. Following this, a streamlined system of trials for Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU) was introduced, which reduced the burdens on the trials system. The staged reintroduction of fees for official VCU trials in 1994 and 1995 reinforced these measures. The requirement to submit the results of replicated trials had no value once the pressure on the system was relieved. So far as we can tell from the records, no formal decision was taken that applicants need not comply with Regulation 11(3), though industry representatives were aware that the requirement was not enforced as the need for it no longer existed. It appears that enforcement of the requirement finally ceased on or around April 1995.