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GM crop trial results fail to make case for GM crops

16 October, 2003

Sinn Féin Agriculture Spokespersons, Fermanagh South Tyrone representative Cllr Gerry McHugh and Martin Ferris TD commenting on the publication of the results of the three-year farm-scale trials of GM crops have said that the mounting evidence now supports opposition to the introduction of GM into Ireland.

Cllr McHugh and Deputy Ferris said:

"The British governments' own GM crop trials throw serious doubt on any decision to introduce commercial GM crops into Ireland. There are just too many doubts and too many unanswered questions. Not least the finding the findings that GM crops have an adverse impact on levels of bio-diversity in the vicinity of GM crops.

"Many have questioned the validity of these farm-scale trials, the largest anywhere in the world to date. Michael Meacher who initiated the trials has himself now cast doubt on the validity of the trials after the weed killer Atrazine, used in the trials of GM maize, was banned by the EU. There is also new evidence that contamination cannot be controlled with the British government announcement that GM oilseed rape had cross-pollinated with non-GM rape at a distance of over 16 miles.

"However, as a party Sinn Féin are totally opposed to the introduction of GM food and crops. This is an issue that will impact on Ireland's clean green farming image and has implications for farmers across the island of Ireland.

"We see no environmental, economic, nutritional or consumer benefits from GM or improvements for third world countries in Genetic Modification. The only beneficiaries from GM will be the profits of the companies who want to own the patent on a sizeable proportion of the world's food.

"Since legislation on the regulation of genetically modified food and feed was passed by the European Parliament, along with further passing of co-existence guidelines which wish to prohibit national or regional governments in banning the use of Genetically Modified Organisms, the European Union has rolled over to the threats of the US and the profit hungry GM companies.

"Sinn Féin believe that across the island we need one policy on this - a GM free Ireland - because cross contamination of hybrid plants and crops could contaminate the whole island." ENDS

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