Thursday, 8 March 2007

Ceisteanna (100)

Seán Ryan

Ceist:

97 Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food her view of proposals to provide redress to an organic farmer who suffers verifiable economic loss as a result of a mixture of genetically modified crops and non-GM crops contained in the proposed new EU regulation on organic production; and if she will make a statement on the matter of the way Ireland’s organic production industry would survive should such a proposal not be included in the final regulation if GMO production here grows. [9094/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Agriculture and Food)

In the absence of the insurance industry being willing to offer insurance cover to growers of GM crops the Interdepartmental Working Group, which was established by my Department to draw up strategies and best practices to ensure that efficient and effective co-existence of GM and non GM crops in Ireland, identified compensation for possible economic losses that might be incurred by non-GM and organic crop growers as an area that needed to be considered. In order to address these difficulties and help create an environment which facilitates the choice of enterprise, be it organic, conventional or GM, the Working Group have recommended the establishment of a redress fund to compensate conventional and organic crop growers for any verifiable economic loss identified.

I am currently engaged in the process of considering this recommendation in conjunction with all other recommendations presented by the Working Group. This consideration will take cognisance of the observations received during the public consultation process and the ongoing international developments in this area, particularly relating to organic labelling thresholds. I hope to be in a position to bring proposed measures to Government, including those relating to compensation for economic loss arising from admixture, in due course.