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Irish Greens amazing u-turn on GM feed

category national | environment | other press author Tuesday October 02, 2007 12:28author by Headser54 Report this post to the editors

In an amazing redefinition of 'GM free' and contrary to Green Party policy, Green Junior Minister Trevor Sargent has now stated GM free is 'not about banning imported GM feed' according to the Irish Independent (Oct 2, 2007) (see below).

In an amazing redefinition of 'GM free' and contrary to Green Party policy, Green Junior Minister Trevor Sargent has now stated GM free is 'not about banning imported GM feed' according to the Irish Independent (Oct 2, 2007) (see below).

However, Green Party Policy on GM feed is very clear in stating 'GM Free':
"would mean that GM seed or crops would not be grown in the island (either as crop 'trials' or commercially), there would be no GM feed for animals and no transgenic farm animals."
see http://www.greenparty.ie/en/policies/gm_food

In addition the Greens' policy is very definitive on GM feed including the following action points

1.1 immediately declare Ireland to be a GM-Free zone and prohibit the use of GM ingredients in animal feed and any testing or growing of GM crops and ban transgenic farm animals;

1.3 establish a GM-Free regulatory authority to ensure that rigorous testing is put in place to verify that animal feed is free of GM inputs;
see http://www.greenparty.ie/en/policies/gm_food/gm_crops_a...olicy

Trevor Sargent's statement also contradicts GM Free Ireland's position who wish "to stop the contamination of Ireland's meat, poultry and dairy produce via animal feed that contains GM ingredients."
http://www.gmfreeireland.org/feed/index.php

SEE EARLIER POSTING ON "Irish Greens serve up fudge on GM food" see http://www.indymedia.ie/article/83019

Minister abstains from GM feed vote
Irish Independent Farming
Maeve Dineen

October 2, 2007

Minister for Agriculture, Mary Coughlan, opted to abstain from last week's crucial vote on GM animal feeds at the EU Council of Ministers in Brussels. Despite the decision, the department said the importation of GM maize by-products and soya meal into Ireland will not be affected. Minister for State, Trevor Sargent, said the decision by Ireland to abstain on the recent

EU Council vote on GM animal feeds is in line with France and Italy, which also abstained. "France and Italy are major buyers of Irish produce. Had Ireland voted 'yes' it would not have affected the outcome of the vote. It is expected the EU Commission will now move quickly to approve the unauthorised GM feed imports. Ireland's abstention is not inconsistent with the commitment in the programme for government to seek to negotiate a GM-free island of Ireland," he said.

He said he accepts the reality that two thirds of raw materials used in Irish compound feed is imported from outside the EU and that 95pc of these products come from EU-authorised GM crops. However, he added that in his view, the Government objective must be to seek to negotiate an island-wide, GM-free zone and it is not about banning imported GM feed.

"It is about not growing GM crops and not proliferating GM pollen, GM seed dispersal and super-weeds in the Irish countryside," he said.

But the IFA reacted furiously to the decision, with president Padraig Walshe accusing the Government of hypocrisy and double standards in failing to support the EU proposal to accept scientifically-approved maize and com gluten for circulation in the EU. He said that the Government was playing politics for the optics, with no consideration for the damage they are doing to Ireland's livestock industy, especially pigmeat and poultry producers.

He said: "The Government is collectively responsible, and I do not accept Fianna Fail passing the buck and blaming the Greens. After all, it was the Taoiseach who brought the Greens into Government with their two seats at Cabinet compared to Fianna Fail's 12.

"I am disgusted with Agriculture Minister, Mary Coughlan's abstention in Wednesday's crucial vote at the EU Council of Ministers in Brussels. The Minister was actively in favour of the EU proposal last June and she had the full support of IFA. This u-turn has damaged Ireland's credibility in Brussels and assurances given by Minster Coughlan last June now count for nothing.

author by Terencepublication date Tue Oct 02, 2007 14:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is a complete sellout by the Greens. Had they voted No, it would at least send message out that GM is not wanted.

The Greens had remained the last hope that sense might prevail somewhere, but this sellout only confirms the view that there is no sector within the current capitalist system that is even remotely let alone willing to address the major environmental issues of the day. It is quite clear that a sustainable environment and capitalism are incompatible and we must drop all pretenses that the Green Party in any shape or form has an even remote chance of changing the course of the destructive policies of the mainstream parties which are totally at the behest of big capital and corporations.

author by Tech1.0publication date Sat Oct 13, 2007 18:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Survey after survey shows that the vast majority of people in Ireland and Europe do not want GM food. And yet the Greens are going to bow down before the WTO and the European Commision and allow its vicarious route into animal feed. How pathetic.

This means the minister will have allowed in Monsanto animal feed which consists of living genetically modified organisms. What's next? Biofuel from the SE Asian and Brazilian rainforests?

Capitalism is simply unsustainable. Social democracy or some meagre from of green conservationism in hoc to neoliberalism will not make it sustainable, and certainly not over the medium to longer term.

Cuba Flies Lone Flag for Sustainability
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/84625

""We don’t need environmental evangelicals to tell us that sustainable development is a good idea. Yet, if that is our goal, we are heading in the wrong direction - with the exception of Cuba. So says the first study to examine the ecological impact of changing lifestyles around the globe."

It's capitalism or a habitable planet - you can't have both
http://www.guardian.co.uk/renewable/Story/0,,1700302,00....html

"There is no meaningful response to climate change without massive social change. A cap on this and a quota on the other won't do it. Tinker at the edges as we may, we cannot sustain earth's life-support systems within the present economic system.

Capitalism is not sustainable by its very nature. It is predicated on infinitely expanding markets, faster consumption and bigger production in a finite planet. And yet this ideological model remains the central organising principle of our lives, and as long as it continues to be so it will automatically undo (with its invisible hand) every single green initiative anybody cares to come up with.

Much discussion of energy, with never a word about power, leads to the fallacy of a low-impact, green capitalism somehow put at the service of environmentalism. In reality, power concentrates around wealth. Private ownership of trade and industry means that the decisive political force in the world is private power. The corporation will outflank every puny law and regulation that seeks to constrain its profitability. It therefore stands in the way of the functioning democracy needed to tackle climate change. Only by breaking up corporate power and bringing it under social control will we be able to overcome the global environmental crisis...."

 
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