The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has today given consent to Teagasc, Oak Park, County Carlow, to carry out field trials on a genetically modified (GM) potato line with improved resistance to late potato blight.
The consent is subject to eight conditions:
• The scope of the consent
• The duration, location and area of the field trials
• The management of the field trials
• The duty upon the notifier to inform the Agency of new information
• Requirements in relation to reporting to the Agency
• The detection method for the identification of the GM potatoes
• Sampling the trial site, and charges for carrying out site inspections, auditing and monitoring.
The approval for field trials follows a detailed examination and assessment by the EPA of a notification from Teagasc.
In assessing the application the EPA has carried out extensive consultations with all appropriate state agencies and government departments including the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) as well as the National Advisory Committee on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
A total of 83 representations were received from interested parties and these were fully assessed as part of the licensing process.
The field trials will be carried out at one location at Oak Park. The duration of the consent is for four years, from 2012 to 2016 (inclusive), with post-trial monitoring continuing until 2020. Planting will not exceed two hectares in area.
Under the EPA consent, the trials will be subject to strict conditions with regular monitoring and reporting to the EPA. The trial sites will also be checked for compliance with the licence conditions on a regular basis by the EPA.
Teagasc will also be required to submit bimonthly reports to the EPA during the growing season as well as an end of year report. Information about the trials including the results of monitoring will be available to the public at EPA Headquarters in Wexford and on the EPA website (www.epa.ie).
A three-month period during which a judicial review can be sought has now commenced.
All related documentation is available for download at www.epa.ie/whatwedo/licensing/gmo/fieldtrial/