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Mary Lou McDonald slams GM food decision as 'first step down a dangerous road'

8 August, 2005

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP has today slammed
today's decision to allow the sale of genetically modified maize on the
Irish market as 'the first step down a very dangerous road, which will
undoubtedly culminate in the sale of GM food to humans in the future'.

Ms McDonald made her comments after the European Commission gave the go
ahead for the American company Monsanto to sell GM maize in the 26
counties for use in animal feed. Today's decision does not allow the crop
to be used for human consumption.

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"I am devastated by today's decision to allow the sale of GM maize in
Ireland. This is a dangerous first step towards an unfettered free market
for GM foods which will undoubtedly culminate in the sale of GM food to
humans in the future. The European Commission are riding roughshod over
the concerns of the people. Irish citizens have consistently said that
they oppose the introduction of GM products.

"Today's announcement comes after recent scientific evidence has shown
that cross fertilisation between genetically modified oilseed rape and
another plant had created a highly resistant 'superweed'. The discovery
was made by British scientists and it was believed that cross
fertilisation between GM and charlock had been discounted as virtually

"To suggest that this GM maize is only for animal feed is disingenuous,
because once it enters the animal food chain; humans will automatically be
exposed to it.

"Sinn Féin has long warned of the dangers of cross fertilization between
GM and non GM crops. The best chance for Irish produce on the world stage
is to build upon our clean green image. Anything that takes away from this
could damage consumer confidence and have serious consequences for Irish
agriculture. The European Commission should heed the warning that GM
products are unwanted in Ireland." ENDS

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