Shane Morris wades in on GM soy report
PUTTING GM FOOD TO THE TEST
Irish Times (Letters), 2 October 2010
A chara, - Just when the public is expressing frustration at political name-calling, Shane Morris (September 27th) chooses to characterise an international scientific report, GM Soy: Sustainable? Responsible? as "scare-mongering". The report was compiled by nine senior international scientists with wide-ranging expertise including molecular genetics, molecular embryology, biosciences, agriculture, biology and ecology.
This important report presents the findings of more than 100 peer-reviewed studies on GM soy and the herbicide glyphosphate, often sold as Round Up. More than 95 per cent of GM soy is engineered to tolerate Round Up.
Whether or not Mr Morris accepts the concerns of the majority of EU consumers who wish to avoid genetically modified food, there is now a scientific basis for this concern. The biggest market for the important Irish food export business is other EU member states. Given a choice between food with GM ingredients or food free of GMOs, over 60 per cent of EU consumers in repeated surveys want the GM-free product.
Given that Austria and Germany have already introduced GM-free food labelling, and will shortly be followed by France, it makes good sense for Ireland to do likewise. This country depends on exporting over â‚¬8 billion of food to EU markets such as these. There is scope to grow this market especially if producers have the option of labelling their produce as GM-free from Ireland, the “clean, green, food island”.
Trevor Sargent TD
Green Party Spokesperson on Agriculture
Rivermall, Swords, Co Dublin.