Written Answers - Genetically Modified Organisms.

Thursday, 18 May 2006

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 619 No. 77

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  77.  Mr. Gilmore  Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   when the Government intends to draft legislation on the co-existence of genetically modified crops with conventional and organic farming; when she expects to be in a position to bring such legislation before the Houses of the Oireachtas; the research and consultation that has been conducted by her Department in relation to genetically modified crops; and her views on genetically modified organisms co-existence with conventional and organic farming. [16473/06]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  In 2003 my Department established an interdepartmental/interagency Working Group to identify the issues and implications for Ireland of the cultivation of GM crops and to develop proposals for a national strategy and best practices. The Working Group completed its work in December last and a public consultation process has just been completed. I am in the process of considering the observations received in conjunction with the recommendations made in the Report and I hope to be in a position to bring forward some draft legislation on strategies and procedures to facilitate coexistence of GM and non GM crops by the end of the year.

[1780]Teagasc has an ongoing programme of research that investigates the potential risks and benefits associated with the growing of GM crops in Ireland. In addition arising from the publication of a recent call under my Department’s competitive research Stimulus Programme a number of collaborative research proposals relating to genetically modified crops have been received from the Universities and Teagasc. These are currently being evaluated with a view to funding.

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