Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ireland To Ban GMOs

How about that, Ireland just went GM free. (The map to the right will have to be updated.) Here's a press release from (pdf):
Ireland Adopts Gm-Free Zone Policy
"The Irish Government will ban the cultivation of all GM crops and introduce a voluntary GM-free label for food – including meat, poultry, eggs, fish, crustaceans, and dairy produce made without the use of GM animal feed."
It looks like the Irish government is doing this not for reasons of science or ethics, although those are promotable effects, but for money.

With an increasing demand for non-GMO foods, and a decreasing world supply owing to agriculture dominance by US, Brazilian, and Argentine GMOs, Ireland sees this as an opportunity to fill a niche.

As an island, they're in a unique position to resist contamination from GM fields. Their livestock are already raised primarily on grass instead of GM feed. And they were having a tough time competing with the big producers anyway:
"The WTO’s economic globalisation agenda has forced most Irish farmers to enter an unwinnable race to the bottom for low quality GM-fed meat and dairy produce, in competition with countries like the USA, Argentina and Brazil which can easily out-compete us with their highly subsidised GM crop monocultures, cheap fossil fuel, extensive use of toxic agrochemicals that are not up to EU standards, and underpaid migrant farm labour."
Interesting how another country views us, at least our agriculture.

Going GM-free isn't the only agricultural change they're making. Others include:1
  • Stepping up supports for the Organic Farming Scheme for conversion to organic production.
  • Ensuring that new public procurement guidelines for food include criteria based on giving greater weight to sustainable local produce, seasonal menus and organic production.
  • Promoting and supporting a network of farmers' markets at Local Authority level to encourage more direct selling from producers to consumers.
Those are country-wide changes - a move that would lessen the kind of discrimination you see here in the US against those who do not have access to premium organic foods. Good for them.
1 Proposed Renewed Programme for Government (pdf), 10th October 2009


R. Bach said...

Ireland probably has universal health care too.

Perovskia said...

That's fantastic.

Anonymous said...

My Kerrygold butter remains safe to eat. Phew!

Dr. Mel said...

This is great! And in Ireland, artists (of any type) don't have to pay taxes. I'd say they've got their priorities right!

Anonymous said...

God Bless Ireland, the one of the only countrys with a healthy and natural food supply. Though i have a question, does Ireland IMPORT GM food? I found this american hotdog in a shop and my mom stupiditly bought it, i checked the bar code and it started with 8_ (proves its GMO) and in the description there was a lot of genetically modified maize , genetically modified starch. Ireland should also ban imports of GMO foods. Keep our food natural and healthy GOD DAMNIT!!! I dont want to eat "food" that gets you allergic to organic food and messes with youre genes.