The Scottish Government will be applying to Brussels to be excluded from approvals for GM crops across Europe. Allowing GM would threaten the nation’s “clean and green brand” and be “gambling” with its £14 billion food industry, according to Environment Minister, Richard Lochhead.
His stance has been enthusiastically welcomed by food campaigners, though some urge him to go further. Farmers and the GM industry, however, have reacted with disappointment, criticising the minister for foreclosing future options.
New European Union rules earlier this year permit member states and devolved administrations to restrict or prohibit newly approved GM crops within their territories. Countries can also apply to be exempted from a GM maize that has already been approved and six other crops awaiting approval.
Lochhead announced today that the Scottish Government intends to submit a request that Scotland is excluded from all European consents for the cultivation of GM crops. Banning GM would help protect and enhance the reputation of Scotland’s beautiful natural environment, he said.