Republic votes against EU proposal on GM corn

European Commission will still go ahead with plans to allow cultivation of GM corn in some locations.

Minister for European Affairs Paschal Donohoe said Ireland recognised genetically modified organisms  was an issue of concern and public sensitivity across many EU states.

Minister for European Affairs Paschal Donohoe said Ireland recognised genetically modified organisms was an issue of concern and public sensitivity across many EU states.

Wed, Feb 12, 2014, 01:00


Ireland was one of 19

countries that indicated their opposition when European Union ministers discussed the contentious issue of genetically modified (GM) crops yesterday, opting not to back a proposal to allow the cultivation of a GM corn seed product in the EU.

However, the intricate EU legislative system means the European Commission will nonetheless go ahead with plans to allow cultivation of GM corn in some locations.

Britain, Spain, Finland, Estonia and Sweden were in favour.

After the meeting, Minister for European Affairs Paschal Donohoe said Ireland voted against the proposal because it recognised genetically modified organisms (GMOs) was an issue of concern and public sensitivity across many EU states.

“We believe it is necessary that a framework is in place that if countries recognise concern on an issue of such sensitivity that they have the ability to opt out of it. In the absence of that framework being in place in relation to GMO crops, Ireland made the decision to vote against the proposal today.”

The European Union has legislated for only a handful of GM crops to be cultivated in Europe, though it imports GMOs for food and feed use. Its approval for the cultivation of the Amflora GM potato was overturned by the European Court of Justice last year, which found the European Commission had substantially altered its original proposal to approve the product.

The issue of GM crops is also likely to surface in EU-US trade talks that began under the Irish presidency of the Council of the European Union last year.