Ireland

GMO-free news from Ireland

This links to a page with GENET-news from Ireland that are relevant for the development of GMO-free zones.

Updates + Overviews

Click on the map to enlarge it or dowload the kmz file to view it in Google Earth. This map only displays the location of the eight counties and nine cities or towns and not the 1,000 smaller areas. View the full map.

9 counties: Cavan, Clare, Fermanagh, Kerry, Kildare, Meath, Monaghan, Roscommon and Westmeath,
2 Districts: Newry and Mourne in counties Armagh and Down,
8 cities or towns: Bantry, Bray, Clonakilty, Cork, Derry, Galway, Letterkenny, and Navan and
more than 1,000 smaller areas have declared themselves to be GMO-free zones on the island of Ireland.

Ireland's GMO-free zone policy

In 2007 the Republic of Ireland Government agreed a GM-free policy to “seek to negotiate to declare the island of Ireland as a GMO-free zone”, but the Environment Minister of the Northern Ireland Assembly refused to collaborate.

In October 2009, the Irish Government offically adopted a new Programme for Government which promises to "Declare the Republic of Ireland a GM-Free Zone, free from the cultivation of all GM plants", and states "To optimise Ireland's competitive advantage as a GM-Free country, we will introduce a voluntary GM-Free logo for use in all relevant product labelling and advertising, similar to a scheme recently introduced in Germany."

However, the Government failed to implement this policy with any legislation. This was a deliberate strategy of Fianna Fáil (the majority party in that coalition government), which only agreed to the policy in order to form a government with the Green party.

The new Fine Gael / Labour government which came into power in 2011 declared the previous GMO-free policy null and void. In 2012 it allowed the first field trial of GMO crops in Ireland (a GMO potato modified to resist potato blight) since a previous field trial was destroyed by protestors in 1998. The GMO potato experiment is currently ongoing at Teagasc’s Oak Park facility in County Carlow. For info see:http://www.teagasc.ie/news/proposed_gm_potato_research.asp

In 2014, the Irish government voted in favour of the flawed European Commission compromise proposal that would allow individual member states to ban GMO crops subject to many conditions, while opening the doors for widespread cultivation and contamination across the EU. The deal needs approval by the EU Parliament to come into effect. For more info about this see :

“Contamination Matters: Why GM crops can’t be managed at a national level” 

(Updated in June 2014: Information provided by GM-FREE IRELAND NETWORK)

Organisations and institutions active on GMO

GM-FREE IRELAND NETWORK

Presentations

GM-free Food Production: A unique selling point for Ireland – the food island:
Video of press conference on the business case for Ireland's GM-free label, with Richard Corrigan (Michelin star chef and TV host), Darina Allen (Slow Food Ireland, Good Food Ireland, Free Choice Consumer Group, Artisan Food Forum, and the Farmers Market movement), Malcolm Thompson (Irish Cattle and Sheepfarmers Association), Evan Doyle (the Taste Council, Organic Trust and Euro-Toques Ireland), Dr. John Fagan (Cert ID), and Michael O'Callaghan (GM-free Ireland). 17 November 2010:
http://www.gmfreeireland.org

GM-free Irish label good for business: Added value, increased market share, better branding and unique selling point: the most credible GM-free food brand in Europe.
GM-free Ireland Network press release, 17 November 2009

GM-free production: a unique selling point for Ireland - the food island.
47-page briefing with GM-free market survey, 17 Nov. 2009 (1.2MB pdf)

Lucern, April 2009
Michael O'Callaghan, GMO-free Ireland
Presentation: Ireland as GMO-free Biosafety reserve for Europe (pdf, 2,1 MB, English)