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Ireland should have the right to prohibit the import, growth and sale of GM foods - Bairbre de Brún

22 May, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today called for the risks associated with GM foods to "health, animals and the natural environment to be explained to the general public".

Ms de Brún made her comments as EU farm ministers gather in Brussels for a debate on Genetically Modified foods, amongst other items. The Agriculture Council will meet today to discuss the issue of "Coexistence" on whether or not such foods can be grown alongside non-GM foods.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"Sinn Féin is in favour of a GM free Europe. It is my belief that the majority of Irish consumers are also opposed to the introduction of GMOs to Ireland. Farmers are genuinely concerned about the introduction of GM seed, food and animal foodstuffs into this country, thus shattering Ireland's international image as a clean green society. Environmental groups have consistently warned that GM foods have not been adequately tested to ascertain their long-term effects on human health.

"It is on this basis that I have signed a European Parliament Written Declaration outlining the risks that GM presents for public health, animals and the natural environment. I am also calling for every country and region within the EU to have the right to completely prohibit the import, growing and sale of genetically modified organisms.

"Today's meeting of the Agriculture Council will see Ministers adopt conclusions on the issue of GM Co-existence on whether or not such foods can be grown alongside non-GM foods. The European Commission‚s approach on this issue leaves much to be desired. They continue to show a total disregard for the views of the citizens of EU member states, who overwhelmingly oppose the introduction of GM foods. I will continue to work both inside and outside of the European Parliament to campaign for Ireland to be declared a GM Free Zone." ENDS

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