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Ferris rejects Government excuses on GM

29 September, 2005

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture and Food, Martin Ferris TD, has rejected as completely inadequate the explanations given for the Irish Government's latest acquiescence in the opening up of this country to Genetically Modified produce. Deputy Ferris was responding to replies to questions he had placed regarding the decision to abstain on an EU vote allowing the importation of a Monsanto patented GM rape seed for use as animal feed.

Deputy Ferris said: "Once again, Environment Minister Dick Roche has followed his predecessors in excusing Ireland's craven attitude towards the GM corporations on the grounds that the statutory authorities here have advised a 'positive but precautionary' approach. Once again he fails to provide any reason why the importation of GM produce might be a positive development in the face of significant scientific evidence to the contrary, as well as overwhelming public opposition.

"Likewise, Minister for Agriculture Mary Coughlan claims that she is satisfied with the controls available under EU regulations to ensure that a GM animal food will have no negative implications for Irish farming. The very fact that it will further undermine the image of this island as the origin of safe traditionally produced food is negative enough. The real issue, however, is that none of these products ought to be allowed unless they are proven to have benefits that no other has. They do not, and there is no evidence that they do. The only conclusion that can be reached, therefore, is that GM products are being permitted on a purely commercial basis. That is, the commercial interests of the giant GM corporations. As far as the Irish Government is concerned, it would appear that the interests of Irish farmers and consumers come a poor second." ENDS

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