IRELAND ADOPTS GM -FREE ZONE POLICY
The Irish Government will ban the cultivation of all GM crops and introduce a voluntary GM-free label for food – including meat, poultry, eggs, fish, crustaceans, and dairy produce made without the use of GM animal feed.
The policy was adopted as part of the Renewed Programme for Government agreed between the two coalition partners, the centre-right Fianna Faíl and the Green Party, after the latter voted to support it on Saturday.
The agreement specifies that the Government will “Declare the Republic of Ireland a GM-Free Zone, free from the cultivation of all GM plants”. The official text also states “To optimise Ireland’s competitive advantage as a GM-Free country, we will introduce a voluntary GM-Free logo for use in all relevant product labelling and advertising, similar to a scheme recently introduced in Germany.”
The President of the Irish Cattle and Sheepfarmers Association, Malcolm Thompson, said he was delighted by the announcement, adding, “The Government’s new GM-free policy is the fulfillment of what we at ICSA have held for the last five years. I very much look forward to its full implementation.”
Michael O’Callaghan of GM-free Ireland said the policy signals a new dawn for Irish farmers and food producers:
“The WTO’s economic globalisation agenda has forced most Irish farmers to enter an unwinnable race to the bottom for low quality GM-fed meat and dairy produce, in competition with countries like the USA, Argentina and Brazil which can easily out-compete us with their highly subsidised GM crop monocultures, cheap fossil fuel, extensive use of toxic agrochemicals that are not up to EU standards, and underpaid migrant farm labour”.