European scientists criticize Scotland’s GMO ban

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The Scottish government is to ban the growing of genetically modified (GM) crops. Here are a selection of reactions to the ban from agricultural experts collected by the Science Media Centre. The Science Media Centre is a UK based organization that solicits opinions from scientific experts on breaking news stories and makes them available for journalists and policymakers.

Prof. Rob Edwards, head of the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University, said:

“The climate change models suggest the northern agricultural areas of the UK will be more strategically important in providing us all with food in the future in the coming decades.

“Surely to future proof your food industry on the global stage all technology options should remain open.”

Prof. Ottoline Leyser, director of the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge, said:

“It is ironic that Ministers have justified their decision by stating that they are not prepared to “gamble with the future” of Scotland’s food and drink industry, because that is exactly what they are doing. In the short term, this is a zero risk, eye-catching announcement that will have no impact whatsoever, because there are currently no approved GM crops available that are suitable for cultivation in Scotland. In the long term, however, when products such as blight resistant potatoes eventually reach the market, Scottish farmers will find themselves at a serious disadvantage. But maybe this is not such a gamble- a week is famously a long time in politics, so when the time comes, no doubt an elegant U turn can be effected.”

Dr Joe Perry, former chair of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) GMO Panel, said:

“It’s time Governments stopped equating an anti-GM stance with care for the environment. GM crops can be of benefit to the environment if regulated sensitively…Blanket bans like this are irrational.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: expert reaction to Scottish government announcement on ban of GM crops

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