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Ferris attacks government stance on GM

10 May, 2006

Speaking this morning at a Press Conference organised by GMfreeireland, the Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Ferris TD condemned the ongoing attitude of the current Government towards the introduction of genetically modified crops and food products into Ireland. The conference was specifically planned to oppose the granting of a license for a GM potato crop in Meath, but Deputy Ferris pointed out that this is only the latest in a series of pro-GM decisions made without proper democratic consultation or approval.

Deputy Ferris said: "There has been no debate on the issue either in Leinster House or among the general public. No elected body has voted in favour of GM and yet Government officials have consistently adopted a pro-GM stance in Brussels. Fianna Fáil had also broken the promise it made in its 1997 Manifesto to oppose GM.

"When myself and other TDs have raised this Government's voting record, we have been fobbed off and told that the relevant officials are satisfied that GM poses no risk to either health or conventional crops. This despite the fact that there is evidence that the EU has suppressed reports highlighting dangers to health, and that the former Chief Scientific Officer in this state requested the EU Commission to withhold a report confirming the inevitability of crop contamination.

"The implications of GM for Irish agriculture are enormous. If GM crops are allowed to be grown here, non-GM crops will inevitably be contaminated with all the potential damage which that would have on the safety of Irish food produce, and the image of this island as the source of clean safe food."

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