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Sinn Féin calls on Government to reverse position on GM

26 April, 2004

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Ferris TD has called on the Government to vote against a proposal to lift an EU embargo on a genetically modified maize. Deputy Ferris was speaking as EU agriculture Ministers prepared to meet today to decide on the issue. To date, the proposal has failed to win a qualified majority at committee level. Irish representatives were among those who have voted in favour of ending the embargo and Agriculture Minister Joe Walsh had indicated that he again intends to vote in favour of GM.

Deputy Ferris said:

"I am making this call on Minister Walsh at the eleventh hour in the hope that he will recognise the huge level of public disquiet here and in the other member states regarding the safety of GM foods. I do not accept that those concerns have been properly addressed nor do I believe that there is any economic case to be made for GM. It is particularly important given this country's reputation for high quality food production that this image is not tarnished by opening up to GM. If Minister Walsh votes against and helps to prevent this, then I am confident that he will be reflecting the views of the majority of Irish farmers and consumers."ENDS

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