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Traces of GM rice in US food chain a huge cause for concern - Mary Lou McDonald

22 August, 2006

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP has today expressed her concerns after it emerged that small amounts of unapproved GM rice had found its way into the US feed and food chain. Ms McDonald said that "such contamination was reflective of the unpredictability and instability of GM products".

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"The revelation that traces of unapproved genetically modified rice were detected in both Missouri and Arkansas is a worrying development. It remains unclear as to how it developed in the 2005 harvest and how widely it has spread but clearly there are warning signs emerging as to the unpredictability and instability of GM products.

"The European Commission must monitor this situation closely, however it is difficult to have faith in an EU Commission which is unashamedly pro-GM and in fact has given the go ahead for the American company Monsanto to sell GM maize in the 26 counties for use in animal feed.

"Sinn Féin has long warned of the potential dangers associated with GM products. Research released in Britain last year showed that some GM crops can cause harm to other life forms. Results of a trial on a herbicide resistant oilseed rape had confirmed that the herbicide used had harmful effects on other plants, birds and insects.

"Sinn Féin favours 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." ENDS

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