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More than caution required on GM - Ferris

28 November, 2005

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD, has said that this country's attitude towards genetically modified crops needs to be governed by more than just caution. Deputy Ferris was responding to a report by the Irish Council on Bioethics which, while admitting to widespread concern over GM, states that GM crops could be introduced with safety if a cautious approach is adopted.

Deputy Ferris said: "Claiming that Genetically Modified crops could be introduced alongside traditional and organic crops, is akin to saying that you can be a little bit dead. Experience from other countries and reputable scientific research has proven that once GM crops are introduced that it is impossible to guard against contamination.

"While the Council on Bioethics refers to consumer concerns, none of those concerns have been properly addressed at official level, nor have elected representatives in either part of Ireland been given an opportunity to debate and decide on the crucial issue of whether GM crops ought to be introduced. Despite this, the Irish Government has consistently gone along with lifting restrictions on GM. In the interests of Irish agriculture and consumers, this country ought to be taking the lead of Switzerland which has voted to ban GM crops. We should be taking that initiative despite EU efforts to remove national sovereignty on the issue." ENDS

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