ENVIRONMENTALISTS, organic farmers and beekeepers gathered in Dublin yesterday to protest over the planting of genetically modified (GM) potatoes in Ireland for the first time. They claimed that it would be the death knell for Ireland's reputation for good food.
Around 70 people, including former Green Party junior minister Ciaran Cuffe, took part in the protest, calling on Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to halt the trials.
"When we were in government, we held the line against GM technology but Fine Gael and Labour have embraced it," said Mr Cuffe, adding: "GM will do huge damage to Ireland's green image."
Stella Coffey, of the campaign group No2gm, criticised the decision to allow planting before the period for appealing the Environmental Protection Agency's licence decision was over.
However, Teagasc said it had complied with all the requirements set down by the EPA and had been given the go-ahead to proceed.