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Ferris calls on Irish Government to explain GM vote

21 December, 2004

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD, has called on the Irish Government to explain why the Minister for the Environment abstained on a vote at the Council of Ministers yesterday where a proposal to authorise a genetically modified rapeseed product for animal feed failed to secure the necessary majority. Ireland was one of six member states to abstain.

Deputy Ferris said: "I welcomed the Irish Government's decision in June to abstain at committee level as this at least represented a retreat from earlier support for the lifting of embargos on GM products. I again welcome the decision by Minister Dick Roche not to vote in favour of this product but I believe that we are entitled to know on what basis the decision was made given that

scientific evidence regarding the effects which the Monsanto oilseed rape has had on rats which were fed the product would indicate that it is potentially harmful to animals. I will be placing questions to the Minister regarding the evidence available to him and the basis on which the Irish decision to abstain was made. If it is unsafe then surely the position ought to be to oppose. Apart from the safety issues, however, I would contend that genetically modified animal feed is totally unnecessary and that its introduction to this country would have disastrous effects on the international reputation of Irish food produce."ENDS

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