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GM foods decision contrary to view of the people - Mary Lou McDonald

28 October, 2004

Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has today criticised the outgoing European Commission for agreeing to allow the import of genetically modified maize into the EU for public consumption. The import of the Genetically Modified (GM) maize NK603 was formally ratified by the European Commission even though there had been no formal agreement amongst EU member states.

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"There are two major issues at stake here, namely that these GM foods have not been adequately tested to ascertain their long-term effects on human health. Secondly, the European Commission has shown a total disregard for the views of the citizens of EU member states, who overwhelmingly oppose the introduction of GM foods.

"Environmental groups like Friends of the Earth have argued that the decision to introduce the GM maize has not met with stringent long-term testing of the product. We have concerns over the toxic effects of its consumption and whether it may cause allergies. Irish consumers are genuinely concerned about the introduction of GM maize and the EU Commission has done little to allay their fears.

"Sinn Féin is strongly opposed to the introduction of Genetically Modified foods. We have campaigned vigorously on this issue. It is regrettable that the EU has once again succumbed to pressure from the giant multi-nationals against the weight of public opinion in the member states.

"Sinn Féin will continue to actively campaign for Ireland to be declared a GM free zone at local, national and EU level as outlined in our comprehensive policy document 'For a GM Free Ireland'." ENDS

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