Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Ferris and Gildernew Warn of Dire Consequences of British GM Proposals

24 July, 2006

The Sinn Féin spokespersons on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD, and Michelle Gildernew MP, have warned of the possible dire consequences for Irish agriculture if Britain proceeds along the lines outlined in proposals published last week on the growing of genetically modified crops. The proposals, if accepted, would also govern the growing of such crops in the Six Counties. Those opposed to GM crops are particularly concerned at the fact that the Government's document contains proposals regarding so-called 'buffer zones' between GM and non-GM crops that would make contamination inevitable.

Deputy Ferris said: "The fact that these proposals lay the ground for the introduction of GM into Britain, as is clearly the intention, that would mean that GM crops would be introduced into Ireland. Due to the certainty of cross-contamination, that would mean the spread of GM crops to all parts of the island. Given that popular and cross party opposition meant that the growing of GM potatoes in County Meath was recently prevented, it is vital that the introduction of GM in this manner and without the consent of any elected Irish representative, must be opposed by the Irish Government on behalf of all Irish people, north and south."

Ms. Gildernew said: "I echo the concerns of Martin Ferris as representative of the opposition of the broad range of farming opinion on this island, of whatever political hue. Any threat to the safety and international standards of Irish food produce will damage all of us. These proposals also illustrate the vital necessity for Irish farmers and consumers to have a direct say in the determination of such vital policies rather than having them dictated from Whitehall without the consent of any party represented at Stormont." ENDS

Connect with Sinn Féin