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GM-free Ireland

Ireland - 18 Sep 08

The Minister of State for Food and Horticulture from the Republic of Ireland and Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs of Northern Ireland have confirmed their plans for the island of Ireland to be declared a GM-free zone at the Terra Madre Ireland 2008 conference on food and farming policy.

This follows similar calls by the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly. The conference was organized by Slow Food Ireland. Slow Food International President Carlo Petrini complemented the Ministers’ GM-free policy statements and those which resulted from some of the 40 conference workshops, adding that great work has been done by the small-scale farmers, fishers, artisan producers chefs, students and citizens who have come to reaffirm the need for a new approach to

No GM crops are grown in Ireland and there is no realistic prospect for this to change. The only GM crop authorised for cultivation in the EU is modified to produce a pesticide against the European corn borer which does not exist in Ireland. Ireland is the EU’s biggest importer of GM animal feed used to
produce non-organic meat, poultry and dairy produce and sold with a GM label.

Michael O’Callaghan of the GM-free Ireland Network urges both governments to implement their policy with a ban on the cultivation of MON810 maize, with strict measures to prevent the importation of live GM seeds, the mandatory labelling of GM food sold in restaurants, storage and transportation and also with the mandatory labelling of meat, poultry and dairy produce from livestock fed on GM
animal feed. He also suggests an all-island public conference to inform takeholders on aspects of GM food and farming with international experts, measures to ensure that no-GM feed is made available, and a non-GMO certification scheme for meat, poultry and dairy produce from livestock fed a GM-free diet.

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