Information on rooster applications to the Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) agency: EIR review
- Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate
- Part of
- Farming and rural, Public sector
Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
I have now completed my review of our response to your request under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs) which stated the following:
1. Your covering letter explains that nine applications were received in total (to date) of which two were rejected due to incorrect paperwork. On this basis, we deduce that there are currently seven active applications for which you have provided a copy of the label provided by the applicant for five of them and we have not been provided with a label for two applications due to an alleged regulation 11(2) EIRs exception? Assuming our interpretation above is correct, we cannot see how a classification label (which we originally authorised) could result in the discloser of personal information pertaining to the applicant who presented it to SASA. Therefore, we would be grateful if you could release copies of the remaining two labels as a matter of urgency.
2. Additionally, we would be grateful if you could let us know the date on which SASA received each of the seven labels/tubers/applications that have been accepted for propagation?
3. The attached label, from crop number 151851, was part of a consignment exported to the Canary Islands. The stitching holes running across the label are clear to see thus indicating that it was, at one stage, correctly attached to a 25kg jute bag. Obviously, SASA provided the requisite phytosanitary certificate for this consignment and we therefore struggle to understand how this label could have been exported to the Canary Islands whilst simultaneously being presented to and accepted by SASA for propagation? In our view, such a circumstance is illegitimate and we therefore request that SASA cease and desist all propagation pertaining to this label and accompanying tuber and destroy all existing material derived from it with immediate effect. We would be grateful if you could confirm that this action has been fulfilled.
4. In relation to the seven Rooster applications currently accepted by SASA for propagation, please could you provide the name of the company or business who submitted the label/tuber and is considered the applicant
by SASA and which label they presented?”
5. "Are we correct in believing that to accept an application to propagate tissue culture from a tuber/classification originating out with the United Kingdom, SASA would require such material to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate? For example, you provided a copy of a ROI label (crop ID 21024961007); did SASA require this label and tuber be presented with a corresponding phytosanitary certificate? If this is the case, please could you provide a copy of the phyto?”
Your review request email dated 15th June 2022 set out the following points:
Q1: We appreciate that the response to this question was sent on behalf of John Ellicot and we will respond to him directly, however, we do not agree that providing us (IPM) with copies of labels (for IPM crops which we requested be printed) could identify an individual; there is no personal individual details listed on labels. Please could you explain how providing us with one of our “own” labels relating to one of our crops could result in the identification of an individual?
Q2: Thank you for providing the dates requested, however, please could you clarify the date that each label was received i.e. which date corresponds to which label. Additionally, please could you confirm the date that the two labels which have not been released to IPM (as referenced in Q1 above) were received by SASA?
Q3: We appreciate that this question may not fall under FOI/EIRs, nonetheless, we are very disappointed with the response received in relation to this question and have replied to Triona accordingly.
Q4: Please could you confirm if there is any previous precedent of SASA/Scottish Executive releasing similar information requested under FOI/EIRs i.e. has SASA/Scottish Executive previously released details of companies producing seed potatoes or maintaining/propagating potato varieties at SASA to third parties?
Q4a.-Industry contacts have recently indicated to us (IPM) that third parties who instructed SASA to propagate stocks of Rooster on their behalf were asked by SASA if they would object to their identity being shared with IPM. Is this the case and, if so, did any of the third parties grant permission to SASA to share their identity with IPM?
Q5: Your response is somewhat perplexing, please could you explain why such an exception could apply to a matter of process? Our question seems perfectly reasonable and should, in our opinion, only require a simple
factual answer. Perhaps, by effectively asking two questions we confused the matter? Therefore, we have the following more specific questions:
Q5a. – Is it a requirement of the UK Government or SASA or Scottish Executive (whichever is the competent body in this regard) that to accept an application to propagate a tissue culture stock that any potato or potato derived material, such as seed tubers, tissue culture or any other propagating material, which is derived and/or originated outside of the United Kingdom is accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate from the from the exporting nation/origin?
Q5b. - Is it a requirement of the UK Government or SASA or Scottish Executive (whichever is the competent body in this regard) that to accept an application to propagate a tissue culture stock that any potato or potato derived material, such as seed tubers, tissue culture or any other propagating material, which is derived and/or originated outside of Great Britain is accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate from the from the exporting nation/origin?
Q5c. – If we (IPM) proposed to send tissue culture or seed potatoes originating from the Republic of Ireland to SASA for propagation (to produce a new stock for entry in the nuclear stock unit) would a Phytosanitary Certificate be required?
Q5d. – Please could you confirm whether or not SASA/Scottish Executive/UK Government (whichever is the competent body) that all potato derived propagating material received within the last 12 months for further propagation, and subsequent entry in the SASA nuclear stock unit, was accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate?
Q5e. – Specifically in relation to the seed potato classification label originating from the Republic of Ireland that you previously provided us with (Label No.: L1000075 / Crop No. 21024961007 / copy attached) was accompanied with a Phytosanitary Certificate?
I have concluded that the original decision should be upheld with modifications.
Your review request included points – 3, 4, 4a, 5c and 5d - which are new questions. These will be dealt with as a new request under the EIRs; and a separate response will follow in due course.
Q1. is about the review of our response to your request with our reference 202200293169. As explained in the review response, and our reference 202200302085, if you are unhappy with the decisions made in that review you may appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner. Details on how to make an appeal are in the review response 202200302085, and may also be found at the end of this letter.
I have concluded the following in order of the points subject to review:
Q2. I have reviewed the request and original response provided. My conclusion is that the following information can be provided, and on behalf of the Scottish Government I apologise this was not provided in the original response. Please see the information given in the following table.
|Date Received||Label||Label Number||Current status of application|
|16/12/2021||LBEL 2 - Witheld||N/A||Rejected|
|11/03/2022||Label 3 - Horticultural pack||N/A||Accepted by NSIU|
|04/03/2022||Label 4 - Horticultural pack||N/A||Accepted by NSIU|
|18/03/2022||Label 5 - Horticultural pack||N/A||Accepted by NSIU|
|21/03/2022||Label 7 - Witheld||N/A||Accepted by NSIU|
Q5. Itself. I have review the application of exception 10(5)(e) and I am satisfied that it was applied correctly for the reasons set out in the original response. The EIR provides a right of access to recorded information held, so questions about process fall outwith the EIRs and the original response to the question dealt with the recorded information held only.
Q5 (a). My review concludes that the following information can be provided: In response to your point: Yes – all plant propagating material entering the UK from third countries requires a phytosanitary certificate.
Q5 (b). My review concludes that the following information can be provided in response to your point:Yes – all plant propagating material entering GB from third countries requires a phytosanitary certificate. Material originating from Northern Ireland does not require a phytosanitary certificate.
Q 5 (e). My review concludes that the following information can be provided in response to your point:As per the requirements outlined in 5(a) and 5(b), a phytosanitary certificate did accompany the application.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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