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9 September 2004 Edition

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MEP slams decision on GM seeds

Sinn FÉin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has slammed Wednesday's decision by the EU Commission to authorise the sale of genetically modified seeds produced by Monsanto. This follows a series of earlier decision to allow the sale of GM food products and comes as the Commission also considers a proposal to raise the threshold at which GM content has to be labelled.

Speaking from Brussels Mary Lou McDonald said:

"Today's decision confirms what Sinn Féin and others have been saying over the past year since moves began to lift the embargo on GM within the EU. When authorisation was given earlier this year for the sale of new food products containing GM, we said that this would inevitably be followed by proposals to open up the EU to GM seed and crops. And so it has come to pass.

"It is absolutely shameful that the Irish Government has gone along with this, and indeed that Commissioner David Byrne, who is one of the foremost advocates of GM, is using his final days in office to push through these new measures against the stated wishes of EU consumers. This is very much against the best interests of Irish agriculture which is based on the production of safe high quality conventional food products renowned throughout the world. If GM seed is introduced to this country, there will be no realistic method of preventing conventional and organic crops being contaminated and that may have disastrous consequences for our food industry. Within the EU Sinn Féin will continue to strenuously oppose the introduction of GM, and our elected representatives throughout Ireland will be pressing to have the entire island made GM free."

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