GM foods

Iain Overton made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Waiting for an internal review by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of their handling of this request.

Dear Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,

Please can you let me know which GM products and seeds the government is considering permitting into the UK for agricultural purposes following our departure from the EU.

Has a list of what potential GM foods/seeds permitted to be grown in the UK been drawn up? If so what foods/seeds are on it?

What briefing notes regarding GM crops post-Brexit have been drawn up for ministers. Can these be made public to me under FOI.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Iain Overton

Helpline, Defra (MCU), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Thank you for your email. We have a target of replying to emails within 15
working days where a response is required, and 20 working days where a
case is handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004. If you need a reply before
then, please call the Defra Helpline on 03459 33 55 77, or visit
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati....
We often receive thousands of identical emails each month from organised
campaigns. Ministers and officials are made aware of these campaigns, but
unfortunately we cannot reply to each email when such large volumes are
received.
Best wishes,
Ministerial Contact Unit
 
 

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.
If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose,
store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the
sender.
Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked for
known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility
once it has left our systems.
Communications on Defra's computer systems may be monitored and/or
recorded to secure the effective operation of the system and for other
lawful purposes.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...

Information Requests (DEFRA), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

1 Attachment

 
 
Dear Mr Overton
 
Please find attached an acknowledgement letter for your request for
information received on  4 November 2016.
 
Kind Regards
 
 
Marie Davies
 
Marie Davies
Information Rights Team
[1][email address]
 
 
 

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.
If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose,
store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the
sender.
Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked for
known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility
once it has left our systems.
Communications on Defra's computer systems may be monitored and/or
recorded to secure the effective operation of the system and for other
lawful purposes.

References

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1. mailto:[email address]

Information Requests (DEFRA), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Overton,
 
Please see the attached response to your request for information.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
 
Mark Shotton
Information Rights Team
 
 

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.
If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose,
store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the
sender.
Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked for
known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility
once it has left our systems.
Communications on Defra's computer systems may be monitored and/or
recorded to secure the effective operation of the system and for other
lawful purposes.

Dear Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews ([email address])

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs's handling of my FOI request 'GM foods'

My concern is this: that in the bid to 'get our country back' and to have what was argued to be 'proper democractic control' - the argument for withholding information from the public domain because this might harm future debate etc. is, frankly, Orwellian. It is the antithesis of democractic control to argue that, in order for us to have a Brexit where we take our country back, we simultaneously hand over the keys of that taking back to a closed-shop cabal of civil servants, clouded in secrecy.

Taking back control does not mean a retreat to secrecy and silence.

Taking back control does not mean a refusal to allow the electorate to be part of a debate until such time as the horse has bolted and the stable door is swung open.

Taking back control does not mean that the public should be kept in the dark as to what, exactly, that taking back entails.

I feel that your email, though lucid, is - actually - dangerous. It hands to Defra the privileges that we assign to MI5 and MI6. It allows the government to work under a cloak of secrecy. And it allows power to fold down, again and again, until it is wielded in private by those unaccountable in their silence.

I strongly reject your arguments for rejecting my request and ask for this to be reviewed as soon as possible. Failing that I will go to the Information Commisioner, so I'd like to know if you reject my complaint sooner than later.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/g...

Yours faithfully,

Iain Overton

Helpline, Defra (MCU), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Thank you for your email. We have a target of replying to emails within 15
working days where a response is required, and 20 working days where a
case is handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004. If you need a reply before
then, please call the Defra Helpline on 03459 33 55 77, or visit
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati....
We often receive thousands of identical emails each month from organised
campaigns. Ministers and officials are made aware of these campaigns, but
unfortunately we cannot reply to each email when such large volumes are
received.
Best wishes,
Ministerial Contact Unit
 
 

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.
If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose,
store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the
sender.
Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked for
known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility
once it has left our systems.
Communications on Defra's computer systems may be monitored and/or
recorded to secure the effective operation of the system and for other
lawful purposes.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...

Information Requests (DEFRA), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Dear Mr Overton,

Thank you for your request for an internal review.

We will be handling the review under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, and will aim to respond to you within 40 working days (i.e. by 1 February 2017).

If for any reason there are delays I will make sure that you are kept informed.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Shotton
Information Rights Team
[email address]

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