Green Party condemns decision to licence GM Potato trials in Carlow – your help needed

The biotechnology industry won the day, thanks to their friends and supporters in Fine Gael and Labour.


The Green Party has condemned the decision of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to grant a licence to Teagasc to commence field trials of Genetically Modified (GM) Potatoes at their research centre in Oak Park Carlow.

Speaking following notification of the decision, Green Party Spokesperson for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Cllr. Malcolm Noonan said that the decision would have profound implications for Irish farming and for our reputation among European consumers for producing healthy, natural and sustainable foods.


“I believe that this decision will do untold damage to Irish farming just at a point when it was showing signs of real recovery. Overwhelming scientific evidence is showing that GM technology is of no real benefit to sustainable agriculture or food security. Consumers in the EU have rejected it outright and we should be paying attention to their needs rather than the interests of large industry players,” he said.


“To think that the two Irish state bodies charged with the development of Irish agriculture and the protection of our environment would seek to deliberately release GM organisms into the environment is really very disappointing. The EPA has dismissed outright the submissions from Irish environmental NGOs and other concerned groups and citizens, all of whom expressed very valid concerns about this technology. The biotech industry has failed at every turn to have its destructive technology accepted by the public. This decision could presumably only have been taken because the two state bodies knew that the biotechnology industry had friends and supporters in the governing parties of Fine Gael and Labour.”


“This decision will be seen as a turning point for the worse in safeguarding future Irish food production and in the protection of our biodiversity and our long term health and well-being,” concluded Cllr. Noonan.

 

Message to Carlow/Kilkenny Members and friends:

On February 27th 2012 Teagasc applied to the EPA to trial GM potatoes. Following a review of the licence application and 83 submissions from the general public and interested stakeholders, the EPA announced on July 26th that it was granting Teagasc the go ahead to trial the potatoes.

Cllr. Malcolm Noonan will be working with other national NGOs on this issue in the next few weeks and is working to organise the next local group meeting to focus on this issue, with the possible support of Eamonn Ryan.  There is a three month window to raise a legal challenge to seek a judicial review about this issue.

The Green Party has been invited to work alongside other national groups such as the Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association (IOFGA). IOFGA has compiled a list of recent interviews about the issue here http://iofga.org/general/gm-interviews/

Can interested members and other concerned citizens please contact Malcolm at malcolm.noonan@kilkennycoco.ie or phone 086 839 9418 if you would like to be involved and could support this campaign in any way.

Please feel free to pass this email onto others in the area who might be interested in supporting this campaign, even to non-members.