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Reilly calls for GM application to be rejected

30 January, 2006

Meath Sinn Fein Counciillor Joe Reilly has called on the Minister for Agriculture Mary Coughlan to prevent the granting of a license to a German company to grow genetically modified potatoes here. Councillor Reilly 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.

He saiid: "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.

"Three years ago I placed a motion before Navan Town Council rejecting the idea of GM foods been produced in Ireland. Navan Town Council fully supported my motion.

"I call on the the farming and consumer organisations to resist attempts to grow GM food in Co. Meath. 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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