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Ferris calls for GM application to be rejected

27 January, 2006

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture has called on the Minister for Agriculture to prevent the granting of a licence to a German company to grow genetically modified potatoes here. Deputy Ferris was responding to a report that BASF has applied to the Environmental Protection Agency to be allowed grow a trial crop at Summerhill, County Meath.

Martin Ferris said: "While no doubt Minister Coughlan will give her usual response that this is somehow not her responsibility, and that the relevant authorities will assess the application on scientific and safety grounds, she as the Minister with responsibility for the reputation and health of Irish farming has a duty to intervene.

"If GM crops are grown here, they will inevitably contaminate traditional and organic crops. There is no doubt about that from research that has been conducted. Given, therefore, the documented hostility of EU consumers to GM food, and given the importance of the reputation that Irish food has for being safe and of high quality, the introduction of GM here will benefit no-one other than the companies which are attempting to control the food system. There is no demand from Irish farmers for GM, and no evidence that it will benefit either them or Irish consumers." ENDS

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