Objections to GM potatoes
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received 83 valid representations in response to a newspaper notice detailing the proposed GM potato field trial under Part II of the GMO (Deliberate Release) Regulations, S.I. No. 500 of 2003. The full text of these representations is available from the EPA’s website.
Stella Coffey, campaigner against GM, objected to the granting of a licence for field trials of the GM potato variety Desiree. What follows is the final “conclusions section” of her letter of objection, the full text of the objection is available here.
Overall I find the research project outlined in this licence application to be poorly conceived, poorly defined and seems to bear many of the hallmarks a funding conceived, poorly defined and seems to bear many of the hallmarks of a funding-led project. So many elements suggest this project’s strings are being pulled by EU – or even international agendas, at least some of which are devoting considerable resources of all types to haveing cisgenic accepted as a category of genetically engineered plants that will not be obliged to operate under the GM regulatory system.
I recommend that EPA reject this application for the following reasons:
1. It fails to adhere to SI Number 500 of 2003
2. It does not fulfill my rights, or those of the public, under Aarhus Convention regarding access to information and input into decisions, including policy, affecting the environment, and health as affected by the environment
3. In dealing with a risky technology, good practice in risk procedure demands that part of the assessment must include an examination of other options particularly from the perspective of relative risk. There is no indication that assessment of other options has taken place in the Teagasc application, or indeed, at the AMIGA project level.
4. It ignores relevant biosafety issues based on the false assumptions it uses.
5. It ignores relevant biodiversity issues, some of which have international obligations attached
6. It contains numerous flaws, some more serious than others. Such flaws are incompatible with the responsibility of managing risky material in experimental conditions.It is in the national interest that this matter be considered.
I would like those reviewing this objection to consider the following words of EF Schumacher for a moment:
“Modern man … talks of a battle with nature, forgetting that, if he won the battle, he would find himself on the losing side.”