jueves, diciembre 03, 2009


Comment by GM-free Ireland
3 December 2009

Minister backs tolerance for genetic modification in EU feed imports
Stephen Cadogan
Irish Examiner, 3 December 2009


Comment by GM-free Ireland

Ireland’s Minister of Agriculture, Brendan Smith, has caved into the GM lobby’s campaign for the EU to abandon its “zero tolerance” food safety policy [1] to prevent contamination of the food chain with untested and/or illegal GMOs.

In today’s edition of the Irish Examiner Farming supplement (“Minister backs tolerance for genetic modification in EU feed imports” - see article below), the Editor Stephen Cadogan begins by falsely framing the issue as if it were about “low level traces of GM ingredients” in imported animal feed, and as if GM animal feed were something new to Ireland. In reality, 95% of our imported soy, maize and oilseed rape feedstuffs have been genetically modified for years.

Cadogan then fails to reveal that what is at stake is increased pollution of the food chain with illegal GM feedstuffs that have never been subject to health risk assessment, and/or have not been approved in the EU. He also fails to specify that the principal source of the contamination is the USA. He then blames increased feed costs on EU safety regulations instead of the contaminated shipments, thus justifying the outrageous notion that farmers must pay for the pollution instead of the companies responsible.

This biased journalism misleads farmers into supporting the giant agri-biotech, commodity trade and animal feed cartel's campaign to persuade the EU to solve the problem of genetic pollution by allowing more of it.

The agri-biotech PR machine fabricated the term "asynchronous approval" to falsely imply that the difference in approvals between the USA and the EU is simply a matter of timing.

That is pure progaganda. European approval of GMOs requires examination of the growing scientific evidence of their health dangers [2]. Only last week, it was revealed that the Monsanto / Cargill joint venture, Renessen Europe, withdrew its application for EU approval of two new GM maize feedstuffs in April 2009 because of health concerns, after refusing to supply the European Food Safety Authority with requested risk assessment data [3]. This did not and could not happen in the USA, where the US Food and Drug Administration routinely accepts the safety claims made by the applicant companies without risk assessent of any kind.

Minister Smith’s use of the terms "asynchronous" and "as yet unauthorised" GMOs shows how propagandized our own regulators have become.

His support for the agri-biotech campaign to abandon the EU's "zero tolerance" food safety policy shows a blatant disregard for the health of European livestock and consumers.

Such acceptance of Monsanto's "contaminate first, legislate later" strategy legitimises the lack of US regulatory supervision, encourages US farmers to grow more untested GM varieties, and will increase the genetic pollution of our food chain for decades to come.

It also undermines the credibility of the Irish Government policy to introduce a voluntary GM-free label for meat, poultry, fish and dairy produce fed on GM-free feedstuffs - which would provide Irish farmers and food producers with a unique selling point. [4]

Contrary to what the agri-biotech industry, commodity traders and animal feed cartels want Irish farmers to believe, safe certified Non-GMO animal feed is affordable and widely used by farmers across Europe - and the global market for GM-free meat, poultry, fish and dairy produce is growing rapidly. GM-free Ireland documented this a detailed study published on 17 November. [5]

But the Irish Examiner did not report about that – and the Minister evidently failed to read it.


1. EU animal feed imports and GMO policy European Farmers Coordination, Friends of the Earth Europe and Greenpeace, May 2008:
http://www.foeeurope.org/GMOs/ animal_feed/Briefing_animal_

Zero tolerance - acting to prevent widespread GMO contamination, Friends of the Earth Europe:
http://www.foeeurope.org/GMOs/ zero_tolerance.html

Defra/FSA Ignore Food Security as they try to please the GM lobby, GM Freeze press release, 13 August 2009:
http://www.gmfreeireland.org/ news/2009/aug.php#freeze1

2. Effects of GMOs and pesticides systematically understimated CRIIGEN appeal to public authorities.
Committee of Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering, July 2009:
http://www.criigen.org/images/ stories/pressrelease-ijbs_ 080709.pdf

Listing of 50 scientific papers on the health risks of GMOs:
http://www.gmfreeireland.org/ health/studies.php

3. Approval procedure for genetically engineered maize LY038 stopped for safety reasons?
Monsanto and Cargill withdraw joint application after EFSA concerns.
Test Biotech, 1 December 2009:
http://www.testbiotech.org/en/ node/286

Commission accused of six-month cover-up in pursuit of pro-GM agenda.
Open letter to Jose Manuel Barroso, President, European Commission, 25 November 2009:
http://www.gmfreecymru.org/ open_letters/Open_ letter25Nov2009.html

4. GM-free Irish label good for business: Added value, increased market share, better branding and unique selling point: the most credible GM-free food brand in Europe.
GM-free Ireland Network press release, 17 November 2009:
http://www.gmfreeireland.org/ press/GMFI46.pdf

5. GM-free food production: a unique selling point for Ireland - the food island.
47-page briefing with market survey, 17 November 2009 (1.2MB pdf download):
http://www.gmfreeireland.org/ GMFI-briefing-3.pdf


Minister backs tolerance for genetic modification in EU feed imports

Stephen Cadogan
Irish Examiner, 3 December 2009:

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ archives/2009/1203/features/ minister-backs-tolerance-for-

AGRICULTURE Minister Brendan Smith is to support tolerance for low level traces of genetically modified material in animal feed imported into the EU. He told the Dáil [Parliament]: "I have informed Commissioner Vassiliou of DG Sanco that my officials will work closely with her officials to agree a proposal for the setting of a tolerance for the low level presence of, as yet, unauthorised GM events."

Feeds have been dearer in the EU because an estimated 180,000 tonnes of US soybeans have been blocked at EU ports this year, because of the EU’s zero tolerance of trace amounts of two GM maizes as yet not approved by EU member states.

Mr Smith said: "Most of the recent problems being experienced by the animal feed industry have revolved around asynchronous authorisation of GM varieties between the feed exporting countries and the EU, and the detection of traces of two GM maize varieties, not yet authorised in the EU, in soya and maize feed imported shipments, resulting in their rejection.

"This has led to uncertainty in the trade of these products, which in turn were replaced by more expensive alternatives."

"I am pleased that the commission has recently authorised one of these varieties and hopefully will authorise the other before year end."

He was responding to a Dáil question from Fine Gael Deputy George Lee.

Michael O’Callaghan

Little Alders
Knockrath, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow
tel: + 353 404 43 885
mobile: + 353 87 799 4761
email: mail@gmfreeireland.org
website: www.gmfreeireland.org


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