Scotland to Ban GM Crops to Preserve Its “Clean and Green Brand”


Russia No GMOBy Julie Fidler | Natural Society

Scotland announced yesterday that it will ban GM crops from being grown on its territory to protect its “clean and green brand,” and because of a lack of evidence showing that Scottish consumers want GM products. [1]
On Sunday, Richard Lochhead, the Scottish government’s minister for the environment, food and rural affairs, said he would jump on the opportunity to ban GM crops created by the EU’s rules allowing countries to opt out of growing EU-authorized GM crops. [1]

“Scotland is known around the world for our beautiful natural environment – and banning growing genetically modified crops will protect and further enhance our clean, green status,” Lochhead said in a statement. [1]

“There is no evidence of significant demand for GM products by Scottish consumers and I am concerned that allowing GM crops to be grown in Scotland would damage our clean and green brand, thereby gambling with the future of our 14 billion-pound ($22 billion) food and drink sector.” [1]

In Scotland, there has been a long-standing moratorium on planting GM crops. The move will allow the Scottish National Party to further distance itself from the U.K. government. [2]

In London, the push to allow the commercial cultivation of GM crops in England is powered by the support of agribusiness, scientific bodies, and the National Farmers Union. James Hutton Institute and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health have taken a leading role in GM research.

Related: Germany Pushes GMO Ban Before Harvest

The Scottish government’s former chief scientific officer, Dame Anne Glover, who became the European commission’s chief scientific adviser before the position was abolished, is a staunch supporter of GM crops. Consumers and environmental groups, however, fiercely object to planting more of the altered crops. [2]

Lochhead says he made the decision to ban GM crops over concern about the potential risks to other crops and wildlife. He ultimately decided that the risks associated with GMOs far outweighed the purported benefits. [2]

“The Scottish government has long-standing concerns about GM crops – concerns that are shared by other European countries and consumers, and which should not be dismissed lightly,” he added. “I firmly believe that GM policy in Scotland should be guided by what’s best for our economy and our own agricultural sector rather than the priorities of others.” [2]

Murdo Fraser, for the Scottish Conservatives, says the decision “puts superstition before science.” Fraser warns that if the rest of the U.K. opts to encourage GM foods and Scotland does not, it will harm the country’s farming community. [2]

“There are two specific issues here for Scotland: if the rest of the UK moves to encourage GM foods and Scotland doesn’t, our farmers will be at a competitive disadvantage, and secondly, a lot of our research institutes which are keen to pursue this technology will lose talent.” [2]

[1] Reuters

[2] The Guardian

Tags: , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use' must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Send this to a friend