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Ferris criticises British decision to allow growth of GM crop

9 March, 2004

Sinn Féin Agriculture Spokesperson, Martin Ferris TD, has strongly criticised the decision by the British Government to allow the commercial growing of a genetically modified maize. He also echoed concerns by the party in the north on the possibility that GM growth may be permitted in the Six Counties.

Deputy Ferris said:

"Sinn Féin has campaigned strongly on this issue over the past year since it became obvious that both the British and Irish Governments at EU level were caving in to pressure from the United States and corporate interests to allow GM crops. We are particularly concerned at the prospect that GM maize will be grown in the north. As a recent American scientific study proves, there can be no safeguard against cross-contamination and therefore the growing of such a crop in any part of Ireland would have serious implications for non-GM species.

"Today's decision also reinforces the need for public opinion in this state to put pressure on the Irish Government to reverse its decision to vote at EU level in favour of lifting the current embargo. We will be urging this at every opportunity and intend to make it a major issue in this year's elections to the European Parliament. The future of Irish agriculture and the safety of Irish food produce must not be endangered by the allowing of GM crops." ENDS

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