Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Questions (64)

Brian Stanley


64. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to prohibit the cultivation of genetically modified organisms here, including the importation of GMO grain. [48951/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (supported by the Environmental Protection Agency) is responsible for the authorisation of GM crops for cultivation, while my Department regulates its use, once authorised. Additionally, my Department has responsibility for the regulation of EU authorised GMO's used in animal feed.

In respect of cultivation, in 2018, the Government approved the transposition of Directive 2015/412 which will enable, though not compel, Ireland to opt out of cultivation of GMO crops approved for cultivation elsewhere in the EU. There are no approved GM crops cultivated in Ireland currently.

Notwithstanding the transposition of this Directive, the Government keeps Ireland's GMO cultivation policy under ongoing review, particularly in light of scientific developments in this rapidly evolving sector.

All applications for authorisation by the EU to place feed products consisting of, or containing, genetically modified ingredients on the markets of Member States are considered individually. Irish Government policy is positive but precautionary on biotechnology and a common voting position is adopted by Ireland for food and feed on the basis of a favourable opinion from European Food Safety Authority and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.