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Ferris slams EU bullying on GM

31 October, 2007

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on the Environment Martin Ferris TD has described the process whereby the EU Commission gets to have the final decision on member state's regulations on GM as bullying.

Deputy Ferris was responding to the failure of EU Environment Ministers to agree to support Austria's anti GM domestic legislation which now means that it reverts to the Commission which is certain to order the Austrian Government to lift its ban on genetically modified corn or face WTO sanctions.

Deputy Ferris said: "The fact that the Commission will have the final say on this, despite the fact that only four member states voted against Austria, is further proof of the undemocratic and bullying nature of the decision making process in Brussels.

"In effect this means that no member state has the right to frame its own legislation on important issues. This is especially damaging when it affects such an important issue as GM.

"It would appear that despite the democratic wishes of the Austrian people, and indeed most EU Governments and citizens, that the interests of corporate agri-business take precedence.

"There are already a significant number of local authorities in this country who have voted to declare themselves 'GM free.' Sinn Féin has been most active in promoting this policy throughout the island and we will continue to defend the right of the Irish people to decide on this issue which is crucial both to the interests of farmers and consumers.

"On a positive note, I am pleased to note that the Irish Minister voted in support of Austria." ENDS

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