21 July 1998
GM tests to face Irish court

By FWi staff

OPPONENTS of genetically modified crops in Ireland have initiated legal proceedings against the Irish Environmental Protection Agency for allowing US biotech giant Monsanto to extend its GM crop trials this year.

Clare Watson, a founder member of Genetic Concern, was yesterday (Monday) granted leave in the High Court to seek a judicial review of the EPAs decision to give Monsanto the go-ahead to conduct an additional four trials of GM sugar beet.

The four GM trials are being carried out under similar conditions to previous trials started by Monsanto in County Carlow last year.

Legal proceedings are necessary because the GM crops are being grown against the public will and threaten the environment, said Quentin Gargan, spokesman for Genetic Concern.

“By conducting these trials in different locations around the country, the associated risks are multiplied unnecessarily,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Irish Environmental Protection Agency received 3,423 separate objections against GM trials from pressure groups and members of the public.