Minister Smith’s Decision Ignores Consumer Demands And Compromises Thriving Export Markets

The decision made by Minister Smith today to back the EU Commissions proposal to scrap the “zero tolerance” food safety policy which protects consumers and livestock from contamination by unapproved GM ingredients is a short sighted move by an outgoing Minister which will have far reaching consequences.

EU consumers have continually stated that they do not wish to have GM ingredients in the human food chain. The fact that the EU (now supported by the Irish government) is bowing to pressure from the GM multi-nationals (mainly based in the US) does not bode well for EU consumers. “Public opinion needs to be listened to and policy makers need to implement legislation which reflects the wishes of the people not the multi-nationals otherwise Europe and its 27 members cannot call itself a true democracy” said Grace Maher Development Officer with IOFGA.

In the past number of years policy in Ireland has been moving to introduce stricter laws on the use of GM feed and by-products and also to introduce a GM free label for livestock products fed on a non GM diet. Farmers and producers are supplying consumer demand both in Ireland and abroad for non GM products. In a time when exports from the agricultural sector are being sold as the major success story of the Irish economy for 2010 the move today by an outgoing Minister seriously threatens the thriving export market for both organic and conventional beef and lamb producers in Ireland.

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The Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association (IOFGA) is the largest organic certification organisation in Ireland representing approx 1,150 farmers, growers and processors. It is responsible for certifying the organic provenance of its members produce and the IOFGA symbol indicates that a product has met the highest standard or organic integrity.

For more information contact

Grace Maher Development Officer IOFGA Tel 087 6125989

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