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Government beginning to respond to pressure on GM

8 December, 2004

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD, has claimed that a decision by Irish officials to abstain last week on a vote to authorise a genetically modified animal food product within the EU, indicates that the Government may be starting to respond to increased public awareness and concern. According to a reply to a Dáil question from Deputy Ferris to Environment Minister Dick Roche, Ireland abstained at the environment committee meeting on November 29 at which a proposal to ratify a genetically modified maize was rejected. The proposal must now go to a meeting of the Council of Ministers on December 20.

Deputy Ferris said: "While I would obviously have preferred had the Irish government voted against the GM animal food, their abstention is perhaps a sign that public pressure and publicity on the issue is beginning to pay off. Increasing numbers of organisations, including one of the main farming bodies, have registered their opposition to GM and this may be causing the Government to pause in what until now has been a consistent campaign of support for GM at EU level. I hope that the Government follows on from this by registering its vote against this proposal when the Council of Ministers meets on December 20." ENDS

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