Written Answers. - Genetically Modified Organisms.

John Gormley

Question:

60 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the evaluation, if any, undertaken by his Department into the long-term detrimental effects on the commercial interests of farmers who are producing non-genetically modified food close to genetically modified trial areas in view of the call by a company (details supplied) to growers to avoid contact with fields used in trials of genetically modified crops. [5033/00]

A national policy statement on the release of GMOs to the environment was issued by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government on 9 October 1999 following the conclusions of the national consultation on GMOs and the environment. The outcome of the consultation will be utilised by the interdepartmental group on modern biotechnology, which is preparing a report for the Government on developments and issues generally in relation to genetic engineering.

While my Department continues to keep abreast of developments in this area, the conditions under which licences are issued in respect of trials of genetically modified crops is a matter for the Environmental Protection Agency.