Death of Ireland’s Good Food Sector

Afri supported and participated in the recent mock ‘funeral procession’ which had been organised to mark the ‘death of the Ireland’s good food sector’, following the planting by Teagasc of genetically modified potatoes in County Carlow.

The ‘funeral’ proceeded to the Department of Agriculture where a letter and a spade were handed in calling on Minister Simon Coveney to ‘dig up the GM spuds’ and save Ireland’s reputation as a clean, green non-GM food producer.

To read an article in the Irish Times about this protest click here.

EU Aarhus Rights Trampled by High Court

Press Release

29 August 2012

A blue-coloured bowler hat with 27 stars featured in Dublin’s High Court on Tuesday. The stars symbolised EU Member States while the hat starred as Exhibit A when ten EU citizens claimed their rights to affordable access to justice under the Aarhus Convention as copper-fastened by the Treaties of the European Union.

The ten EU citizens sought, in separate independent legal actions, a NPE Order, a Not Prohibitively Expensive Order, from High Court Judge Hogan. No2GM, a company limited, also sought an identical Order and all were refused. Judge Hogan’s ruling denied Access To Justice, demanding the applicants each risk hundreds of thousands of Euros in the most expensive legal system in the EU, by insisting on putting parties on notice. Continue reading “EU Aarhus Rights Trampled by High Court”

Afri expresses dismay at the EPA decision to grant GM potato licence

Press Release, 26th July 2012

The justice and human rights group Action from Ireland (Afri) has expressed dismay at the decision of the Environmental Protection Agency to grant a license to grow genetically modified potatoes in Ireland.

From left to right: Chef & TV presenter Clodagh McKenna, Clare O’Grady Walshe & Ruairi Quinn advocating a ‘GM-Free Ireland’ at an Afri press conference on the 21st February 2011 to alert the Irish public of an imminent decision by Minister Brendan Smith to allow GM products into Europe and Ireland. Photo Derek Speirs

Joe Murray of Afri described the move as short sighted and one that threatened Ireland’s economy by eroding its reputation as a ‘green, clean’ food producer. “The move by the EPA to grant approval for the GM potato trials by Teagasc is completely ill-advised. It will do serious reputational damage to Ireland’s flourishing organic industry at a time when there is an ever increasing demand for organic food. By contrast, there is little appetite for GM foods either in Ireland or in Europe” said Mr Murray.

“The argument that Ireland needs a blight resistant GM potato is ridiculous because there are already blight resistant potatoes in Ireland – and they are not genetically modified and therefore do not pose any risk of contamination to other crops,” Mr Murray continued.

Waylon (Gary) White Deer, Choctaw artist, whose ancestors sent a cash donation to Ireland during the Great Famine, also criticized the decision of the EPA calling it a “dangerous step”. Mr White Deer described the decision as having critical consequences for food sovereignty and biological diversity. “It is important that the Irish people don’t give up their food sovereignty. This is a risky experiment which, if unchecked, will eventually lead to the corporate control and manipulation of Irish food sources. Now that GM has gotten its tentacles into the Irish soil it is important that we don’t let them spread.”

Hands off Our Genes!

“We are the last frontier in a Europe that is looking for GM free food” Clare Keane.

A film about the dangers of allowing Teagasc to field test GM potatoes in Ireland. With contributions from Afri chairperson Andy Storey, Clare Keane, and former Assistant Secretary-General of the UN, Denis Halliday.

Film by Dave Donnellan.

Protesters Oppose Introduction of Genetically Modified Potatoes to Ireland

The justice and human rights group Action from Ireland (Afri) held a protest action at the Department of the Environment on Easter Monday to express its opposition to the proposed introduction of genetically modified (GM) potatoes into Ireland.  Protesters wearing potato masks, and carrying a banner with the slogan “hands off our genes”, called on the Environmental Protection Agency to reject Teagasc’s recent application to introduce GM potatoes to County Carlow.


Afri spokesperson Lisa Patten described the Teagasc application as “contaminating” Ireland’s green reputation. Ms Patten said “this move would be a serious blow to our food sovereignty and undermine this indigenous and flourishing part of the Irish economy which is part of the fabric of our social and cultural heritage. Introducing genetically modified food into our food sector is a cul de sac for the Irish people and seriously damaging to our reputation as a green, clean island. Our government should be doing everything they can to develop our proven potential to become the hub for GM-free food which the European market in particular is demanding, as well as safeguarding the safety and food security of the Irish people.”

  Continue reading “Protesters Oppose Introduction of Genetically Modified Potatoes to Ireland”