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Press Release

Conservative Party Press Office

 32 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3HH

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26th March 2004


Paterson: Embarrassed Labour kill GM Bill


Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Owen Paterson MP, commented on the collapse of the Genetically Modified Organisms Bill, which the Government engineered today. He said:


“Today, Labour has killed off this important Bill which would have ensured that regulations on liability could be debated and approved by the Houses of Parliament. This makes it even more extraordinary that the Minister, Elliot Morley did not bother to turn up.


“This Bill was designed to address the legal and compensation implications of the issues surrounding GM crops. Bearing in mind that the issue of GM is one of great national controversy, the Bill is all the more important. We are now left without any idea of how the Government will proceed with the fundamental GM issues of liability.


“All parties agree that the issues of liability must be resolved before GM plantings can proceed.  The Government’s actions today are astonishing.”




Notes to Editors


  1. The Genetically Modified Organisms Bill, 2nd Reading took place today, on 26th March,  in the Chamber.
  2. The DEFRA Minister, Elliot Morley MP, failed to turn up for the reading of this Bill.
  3. Andrew Dismore MP, implemented a procedural device that curtailed the Bill before Greg Barker had even finished his opening speech. This has effectively killed the Bill.


For further information, please contact Natasha Moore on 0207 984 8047 or 07939 105 471.