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Ireland Committed to Remaining GMO-Free

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Following similar actions by the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly, agriculture ministers from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have confirmed their plans for the entire island to be declared a GM-free zone.

The ministers announced their plan at the Terra Madre Ireland 2008 conference on food and farming policy in September.

The Irish Minister of State for Food and Horticulture, Trevor Sargent, emphasized the pitfalls of GMOs in agriculture, and also pointed out the opportunity available to Ireland in the controversy- " the option for us in Ireland is very clear: Ireland- the food island. We can sell that! The green clean food island-they really want that in Germany . Anywhere you go where our main markets are, they want that green clean food island. How about if Bord Bia [the Irish food Board] tries to sell Ireland- the GM laboratory? I wonder how that would go down."

The Northern Ireland Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Michelle Geldernew, said, "We must protect the diversity of both plants and animals, and avoid damaging natural resources and contributing to climate change Once we go down the GM route there is no going back: we need to keep Ireland GM-free."