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Ferris welcomes NAFTA report on GM contamination

15 November, 2004

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture and Food, Martin Ferris TD, has welcomed a report commissioned by the North American Free Trade Association which has found in favour of Mexican farmers whose maize was contaminated by Genetically Modified pollen carried over the border from the United States. The report states that such cross-contamination is unacceptable and that the onus is on the growers of GM crops to take steps to prevent this.

Deputy Ferris said:

"This report has major implications for farmers in the EU as pressure mounts to allow the growing of Genetically Modified crops. Apart from proving that it is impossible to prevent cross contamination across land borders, it also lends substantial weight to the demand that the onus be placed firmly on the manufacturers and growers of GM crops to prevent such contamination taking place.

"Given that cross-contamination would be inevitable within EU continental states and across Ireland once crops were licensed it is clear that the only effective way to prevent it is to prohibit the growing of GM crops in the first instance.

"This report must also be used to bolster the opposition to attempts by the United States within the World Trade Organisation to open up the EU and other trading blocs to GM on the basis of their argument that there is equivalence between GM and conventional crops. It is clear that there is not and that the only way to protect conventional and organic species from GM contamination is to continue to prevent them being grown."ENDS

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