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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50105954
  • Date: 9 April 2008
  • Public Authority: Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs
  • Summary: The complainant requested from DEFRA the release of briefing notes and background evidence advice in relation to the issue of redress in the case of the cross-contamination of non-GM crops by GM crops. He also requested relevant legal advice and to be told the names of those with whom the legal advice had been shared. DEFRA initially refused to release this information under the Environmental Information Regulations but, at review stage, decided that the matter was more appropriately dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act. DEFRA withheld the information sought under sections 22, 35 and 42 of the Act. Subsequently DEFRA agreed to release much of the information to the complainant as it had now reached the public domain but continued to withhold information under sections 35 and 42. The Commissioner decided that the information had been correctly withheld under section 35, and did not therefore consider section 42. DEFRA was criticised for failing to issue a Refusal Notice under the correct legislation.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]