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Ferris defends Sinn Féin position on GM food

6 August, 2003

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture and Food, Martin Ferris TD has defended Sinn Féin's position on Genetically Modified food following an attack from Fianna Fáil backbencher John Cregan. Cregan had accused Sinn Féin of sensationalism and of issuing misleading press statements. He also claimed that Minister for Agriculture Joe Walsh has no responsibility for GM foods.

Deputy Ferris said:

"It is clearly Deputy Cregan who should check his facts. If he paid more attention to Dáil questions, he would realise that Minister Walsh, with responsibility for Agriculture and FOOD, is in fact the Minister who deals with the issue of GM. It was in this capacity that he replied to my questions on GM crops, and the holding of a public consultation before the Government makes any further decision on GM.

"I would also be confident that I was aware of the most recent EU legislation before Deputy Cregan. In fact we referred to it and to the detail of the new labelling regulations in our press statements. We are not denying that the EU has taken action on GM but we are stating that it is inadequate and that far more needs to be done before this country with its potential for high quality food production decides to open itself up to GM.

"The facts, as they stand at present, are:

  • There is no scientific evidence regarding the safety of GM food
  • GM crops do not increase agricultural productivity
  • It is therefore not the solution to world hunger which exists amid food surpluses
  • Multi-national corporations are attempting to control the entire food system by patenting GM seed". ENDS

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