Feb 10, 2011

I write letters

Dear Minister Smith,

I will try and restrain the depth of my anger at hearing that you did have permitted GM products into this country. It seems that either you do not understand what drives demand for Irish food products and tourism, or that the government wishes to corrupt the food industry, in the same manner as the economy.

Let me try to explain.

1. People pay a premium for Irish meat because the majority of Irish meat is grass fed, supplemented by hay in the winter. Feeding cattle on maize not only has significant impact on the health of the cattle, but also on the meat of humans. Maize fed cattle are not capable of killing e-coli in the stomach because of a change in acid regulation. E-coli and similar bacteria are passed on to humans, who then have to lie on hospital trolleys or die.

2. The US produces excess corn and no doubt there is pressure on the EU to buy their surplus. The quality of US beef has declined significantly since the switch to maize feeding. The rise in heart disease and obesity can be correlated to the excess maize consumed in American society through poor quality meat and corn syrup. It is an abhorrent system that you have sold the Irish people into.

3. Food tourists come to Ireland because Irish beef is grass fed and are generally free range. The minute you allow GM foods to enter the food chain, you lose significant tourist revenue. Ireland is promoting quality products which is why we have a food export system.

4. If even one GM seed is allowed to grow, it can contaminate the country and all the organic farms.

5. It does not matter whether the GM feed is for a day or all year around. One feed of GM causes the reputational damage.

6. It is this kind of thinking that led to the destruction of Irish railways in the 50s. That also was courtesy of a Fianna Fáil government. Even after the economy meltdown and the cruelty inflicted on this country by your government, I am still amazed that you took such a regressive and economically ignorant decision. It is a kick in the teeth to food producers and towns dependent on tourist trade. It also belies your party's manifesto, because no one will want to buy meat fed on GM maize.

7. I promise my vote to the party that will reverse this decision and will canvass on their behalf. I have CCed party leaders in this email. I want this decision revoked.

I would appreciate the courtesy of a real reply, rather than the standard automatic reply.

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