<< Home

<< Back

Ireland Bans GMO Crops, Prioritizes Organic Agriculture

By author unknown

According to the advocacy group GM-Free Ireland, in mid-October the Irish government announced a plan to ban the growing of geneticially modified (GM) crops on the island, and to introduce a voluntary labeling program for food made without the use of GM animal feed (including meat, poultry, eggs, fish, crustaceans and dairy products).

The move comes as Ireland positions itself as a global source for GM-free products and has created a funding scheme to increase organic and local production. The Proposed Renewed Programme for Government includes support for organic, seasonal and direct markets. 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."

According to Michael O'Callaghan of GM-free Ireland, "The WTO's economic globalization 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 subsidized GM crop monocultures, cheap fossil fuel, extensive use of toxic agrochemicals that are not up to EU standards, and underpaid migrant farm labor."

The new policy, adopted as part of the Renewed Programme for Government, was the result of a coalition agreement between Fianna Faíl and the Green Party. Unlike similar bans in other European countries that allow for trial uses of GM field crops, Ireland's policy will expressly prohibit the cultivation of any kind of GM crops.

The island's geographic location and offshore winds prevent contamination by wind-borne GM pollen drift, making it an ideal candidate for such a ban. This, in combination with the rigor of the new labeling system, will provide a selling point for Ireland to market GM-free foods.

Email This Post



For more information or to help us build this site, contact us