1.Canada dirty tricks exposed in WTO trade dispute on GMOs
2.FINE GAEL EMAILER COMES A CROPPER
NOTE: This press release (item 1) reveals how, among other things, Shane Morris - a Canadian public servant, has been secretly briefing Ireland's main opposition party, Fine Gael, on how to create problems for the Irish Government over its policy goal to declare Ireland a GM-free zone. This came to light after a secret Fine Gael briefing authored by Morris was sent by mistake to Ireland's governing Fianna Fail party (item 2). This is just one example of what Senator David Norris has condemned as the 'extraordinary interference by an agent of the Canadian Government in the political discourse of this country'.
EXTRACT: Kathy Sinnott MEP said 'this covert interference by the Government of Canada is an affront to Irish and UK sovereignty and to the Precautionary Principle which is a cornerstone of EU policy on GM food and farming. I am calling on the European Parliament to investigate this scandal, as we have done regarding the CIA's violation of European airspace for illegal torture flights. We need a full investigation into the extent of covert influence by foreign governments and corporations on the GM policies and decisions of the Commission, EU member states, and their regulatory bodies.' (item 1)
1.Canada dirty tricks exposed in WTO trade dispute on GMOs
*Covert campaign denounced in Irish Senate and UK House of Commons *European Parliament asked to launch investigation
GM-free Ireland press release, 28 January 2008 PDF version: http://www.gmfreeireland.org/press/GMFI38.pdf
DUBLIN - Thirty three Irish and British politicians - including the former UK Environment Minister Michael Meacher MP, Senators David Norris, Dan Boyle, Pearse Doherty, Deirdre de Burca and Phil Prendergast, and Kathy Sinnott MEP - have denounced the activities of a Canadian Government agent, who has attempted to sabotage Ireland's policy to keep the island of Ireland free of genetically modified crops .
Canada launched its covert strategy to undermine Ireland's growing opposition to GM crops  after failing to force the EU to accept its unwanted GM food exports  by legal means via a WTO trade dispute in 2006 . Canada has given the EU an 11 February deadline to change its policy on GM foods.
Shane Morris, an Irish biotech scientist employed by the Canadian Government agency Agri-Food and Agriculture Canada, began harassing the GM-free Ireland campaign from his office in Ottawa, whilst posing as an 'Irish lad' and 'private citizen' living in Dublin . Morris set up a dedicated web blog  to disseminate disinformation, slander, innuendo and highly personal defamatory attacks  to discredit Irish politicians, scientists, and organisations which speak out against the dangers of GM food and farming. He rounded up biotech industry colleagues to complain about coverage of GM health risks on RTE  and in the Irish Medical News . He intimidated Bord Bia [the Irish Food Board] to cancel funding for a conference on GM-free branding for food, farming and tourism , and harassed sponsors  of a scientific briefing on GMOs at the European Parliament Office in Dublin, where the Minister of State for Food and Horticulture, Trevor Sargent, first announced the Government's policy goal to declare Ireland a GM-free zone . Morris now intends to set up 'a similar info service from a National University of Ireland perspective'.  Shane Morris is also advising Fine Gael TDs and MEPs, and was the author of a secret Fine Gael briefing on GMOs . The briefing contains text from a letter by Morris previously published in the Kilkenny Voice. Morris's authorship of the briefing is well-known in Fine Gael circles and was also confirmed by Fianna Fail politicians after the briefing was sent to them by mistake in October .
In 2003, when he was working for the Canadian Government, the prestigious British Food Journal published a scientific study co-authored by Morris and partly funded by the biotech industry, which claimed that consumers prefer GM food. The paper received the Journal's 'Award for Excellence for the Most Outstanding Paper of 2004' and has been widely cited by biotech advocates. But the paper has been denounced as 'misleading' and/or a 'flagrant fraud' by Cambridge University research ethics expert Dr. Richard Jennings, Prof. Joe Cummins (Emeritus Professor of Genetics at the University of Western Ontario, Canada), by other scientists at York and Guelph Universities in Canada, the University of New South Wales in Australia, and in various publications including New Scientist, Food Consumer, The Ecologist and Private Eye magazines. Last week 40 scientists wrote to the British Food Journal demanding it withdraw the paper and the award .
GM-free Ireland  and the UK-based GM Watch  outed Morris as a Canadian Government agent last July and reported his involvement in what they regarded as a scientific fraud. Morris then engaged McCann Fitzgerald and other law firms to intimidate both organisations, using threats of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation to censor and/or shut down their web sites . The attempt failed in Ireland but succeeded in the UK, when the GM Watch site was shut for nearly a week last August. In September, the policy director of the Soil Association , Peter Melchett, wrote to the UK High Commissioner for Canada, requesting the Canadian Government to stop its attempts to 'undermine the wishes of the democratically elected Irish Government'. 
Political reaction from Ireland and the UK
The former UK Environment Minister Michael Meacher MP, has tabled an Early Day Motion  in the House of Commons which states: 'This House (...) deplores the continuing efforts by an employee of the Canadian Government, Shane Morris, to close down websites in the UK and Republic of Ireland which have, along with Dr Richard Jennings of Cambridge University, said that research which claimed that consumers prefer GM sweetcorn published by this employee and others and given an Award for Excellence is a flagrant fraud.'  The motion has since been co-signed by twenty six MPs.
Senators David Norris, Dan Boyle, Deirdre de Burca, Pearse Doherty, and Phil Prendergast are calling for the Irish Government to intervene. In a Senate speech on 6 December, Senator David Norris condemned the 'extraordinary interference by an agent of the Canadian Government in the political discourse of this country' who is 'trying to close down Irish networks that tell the truth about GM food', and called for the Senate to request the Government to raise the matter with its Canadian counterpart .
European Parliament to launch investigation
Kathy Sinnott MEP said 'this covert interference by the Government of Canada is an affront to Irish and UK sovereignty and to the Precautionary Principle which is a cornerstone of EU policy on GM food and farming. I am calling on the European Parliament to investigate this scandal, as we have done regarding the CIA's violation of European airspace for illegal torture flights. We need a full investigation into the extent of covert influence by foreign governments and corporations on the GM policies and decisions of the Commission, EU member states, and their regulatory bodies.'
Michael O'Callaghan of GM-free Ireland said 'The European Parliament needs to investigate the extent of covert influence by foreign governments and corporations on the GM policies and decisions of the Commission, member states, and their regulatory bodies. The investigation should also examine the amount of industry lobby funding in the area of Public Relations and public perception management which, in some member states, distorts media coverage of GM policy issues and stifles public debate on the biotech industry threat to European food sovereignty and food security.'
Michael O'Callaghan, Co-ordinator
GM-free Ireland Network
Tel + 353 (0)404 43885
mobile: + 353 (0)87 799 4761
2.FINE GAEL EMAILER COMES A CROPPER
Miriam Lord's Week, Irish Times, 13 October 2007 [extracted from the 'Notes for editors' - see above
It's a slow day at the office. Then an e-mail lands in the Fianna FÃ¡il adviser's in-box. His eyes light up when he sees the title: 'Briefing Document for Fine Gael.'
He opens the message to find Fine Gael's new 13-page strategy on the GMO issue has landed in his lap. They sent it to the enemy by mistake.
It begins 'GMOs and Ireland: 10 years of poor FF-led policy.' The opening paragraph begins thus: 'Since 1997, Fianna FÃ¡il governments have repeatedly flip-flopped the issue of GMOs. This recently came to a head on September 28th when Green Party Minister Trevor Sargent dramatically changed stated policy regarding a 'GM-free Ireland' by stating 'GM free zone is not about banning imported GM feed' (possible draft DÃ¡il questions, below on pg. 5)'. And on it goes, with page after page of background rebuttal material, full of quotes from Fianna FÃ¡il and Green politicians.
Suggested DÃ¡il questions include ones for Trevor Sargent.
'Does Minister Sargent agree that this nation's food supply is not an issue for party political sound bites but rather political decisions made on the basis of scientifically sound independent advice?'
Lots of examples of previous statements are highlighted before a possible question for Minister Dempsey is offered: 'Did Noel Dempsey, in his programme for government discussions with the Greens, forget the conclusions of his own tax payer-supported public consultations?' All that hard work for nothing. They're certainly green in Fine Gael now, but for all the wrong reasons. But Trevor Sargent had an extra pep in his step last week, and they're still laughing in Fianna FÃ¡il.
Forwarned is forearmed.