Irish MEP Sean Kelly says Ireland should focus on promoting grass-fed produce
Irish readers may wish to let Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness know that she doesn’t need to wait for GM blight-resistant potatoes to be developed (see her quote in the article below), as non-GM blight resistant “Sarpo” potatoes are already available.
Their flavour and cooking qualities have been praised by Darina Allen, from the Ballymaloe Cookery School, Ireland.
The GM blight-resistant potatoes being worked on by the Sainsbury Laboratory in the UK contain a gene pirated from the naturally blight-resistant non-GM Sarpo potatoes.
So why bother with the GM version? Patents, of course.
There’s not much to gain from going down the GMO route – Sean Kelly MEP
AgriLand, 19 Oct 2015
Ireland hasn’t much to gain from going down the genetically modified organism (GMO) route, according to Fine Gael MEP, Sean Kelly.
Speaking to journalists in Brussels recently, the Irish MEP said that Ireland should focus instead on promoting our grass-fed produce.
“By having a niche, high-quality, reliable, verifiable product, I think we’ll have more to gain by marketing that way than just becoming the same as the mass produced GMOs,” Kelly said.
Meanwhile, Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael MEP, said that she thinks the EU is very incoherent on the issue of GMOs.
“I think the Commission is provoking a debate. At the moment, there isn’t any crop that Ireland would want to grow; so it’s easy to say we’re against them if we are.
“I’ve a very scientific view on it, if I thought there was a potato that was genetically modified that didn’t get blight, I’d be kind of happy because you wouldn’t have to spray it so much, but we don’t have that yet.
“But we, the European Union; the vast bulk of our protein for livestock feed is GM soya.
“To change that would be extremely difficult. The public mood is that they’re concerned about them. It’s an issue we have to deal with,” she said.
Environment MEPs oppose national GMO import bans proposal
A draft EU law that would enable any Member State to restrict or prohibit the sale and use of EU-approved GMO food or feed on its territory was opposed by Environment Committee MEPs last week.
The Commission proposed to allow Member States to restrict or prohibit – under certain conditions – the use of genetically modified food and feed on their territory after these products have been authorised at EU level.
However, MEPs voted to reject the proposal citing concerns that the proposal might prove unworkable and lead to the reintroduction of border controls between pro and anti-GMO countries.
The recommendation will now be put to a vote by Parliament as a whole at the October 26-29 plenary session in Strasbourg.