Ireland to Ban Genetically Modified Crops
DUBLIN - 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 labeling and advertising, similar to a scheme recently introduced in Germany."
Michael O'Callaghan of GM-free Ireland said the policy signals a new dawn for Irish farmers and food producers:
"The Irish Government plan to ban GM crops and to provide a voluntary GM-fee label for qualifying animal produce makes obvious business sense for our agri-food and eco-tourism sectors. Everyone knows that US and EU consumers, food brands and retailers want safe GM-free food, and Ireland is ideally positioned to deliver the safest, most credible GM-free food brand in Europe, if not the world."
In the USA, to which Ireland exports vast quantities of dairy produce (including milk powder and casein for cheese production), leading food manufacturers, retailers, processors, distributors, farmers, seed breeders and consumers have set up joint venture called the Non-GMO Project, which already provides GM-free labels for over 1,000 food products by individual manufacturers in addition to thousands of GM-free private retail brands.
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