HC Deb 27 July 2000 vol 354 c751W
Mr. Yeo

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if the Government plans to trace the food products which may contain oil produced from British oil seed rape affected by the contamination of Advanta rapeseeds by GM rapeseeds; [124154]

(2) if the Government plans to publish advice to consumers wishing to avoid food containing ingredients produced from crops grown from conventional Advanta rapeseed contaminated with GM rapeseed. [124162]

Ms Stuart

No decision has yet been taken as to how crops grown from the contaminated rapeseed will be disposed of but the genetically modified element of the crop does not have the necessary authorisation under the Deliberate Release Directive (90/220) to enable it to be commercially marketed in the EC.

I am however, advised by the Food Standards Agency that while there is a possibility that some rapeseed containing a very low level of GM seed may have been grown in the UK last year, there is no information available on where this might have occurred. There is thus no way of being able to trace any oil from this source that may have entered the food chain as the oil cannot be distinguished from conventionally produced rapeseed oil by analytical means. This will in any case have been mixed with oil from other sources and dispersed widely.

The amount of oil from GM rapeseed in any single food product is likely to be extremely small, if it is present at all, but for the reasons given, there is no obvious way for consumers to be able to identify products which might contain traces of the GM derived oil.