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Ferris slams Irish Government stance on GM

19 May, 2004

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Ferris TD launched a strong attack on the Irish Government's role in lifting the EU embargo on Genetically Modified food. Deputy Ferris was speaking as the EU Commission moved this morning to lift the ban on Bt-11, a genetically modified maize. Deputy Ferris attempted to have Dáil proceedings adjourned this morning in order to discuss the issue.

Deputy Ferris said: "The Irish Government's role in ending the embargo, which is supported by the overwhelming majority of EU citizens, is nothing short of disgraceful. Commissioner David Byrne has been the main advocate of the change at Commission level and the Irish Government has been among a minority of states which have consistently voted in favour of allowing GM over the past six months.

"This is despite the fact that there has been no debate or vote of any kind in this country and that the Government's stance represents a complete u-turn from Fianna Fáil's stated policy prior to coming to power. Indeed this has been raised openly by Fianna Fáil TD Michael Mulcahy. I will continue to voice my opposition to the lifting of existing embargoes on GM food and crops, and to campaign for Ireland to become a GM free zone. Tomorrow I will be questioning Minister Joe Walsh with regard to why he has changed his attitude to GM, having previously condemned it as an experiment in which the consumer is the guinea pig." ENDS

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