Scotland’s GMO ban could leave its most valuable food export, farmed salmon, at disadvantage

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis.

Scottish ministers took another step into the dark ages when they banned the growth of GMO crops in Scotland. Although proclaimed safe by the European Union and in widespread use worldwide, Nationalists think they know better.

But with GM crops, their arguments are based on wilful ignorance. Huw Jones, professor of molecular genetics at Rothampsted Research said: “GM crops approved by the EU are safe for humans, animals and the environment. If approved, this decision serves to remove the freedom of Scottish farmers and narrows their choice of crop varieties to cultivate in the future.”

Recently a team of researchers demonstrated in the first-ever field trials that it is possible to produce omega-3 fish oils from GM oilseed crops. This breakthrough offers hope that a land-based source of fish oil can be fed to farmed fish, reducing their dependence on limited ocean resources. The Europeans will be quick to exploit this discovery for commercial purposes but it looks like Scotland will be left behind.

Farmed salmon is Scotland’s most valuable food export, worth £500 million a year. For this industry alone, the Prime Minister should have thrown his weight behind GMOs.

It is for ministers, with their access to the best available advice, to allay public prejudices about issues such as genetic modification. Our Nationalist politicians, however, seem more intent on stoking popular hysteria than driving change that could have lasting advantages for Scotland.

In this, they are motivated by a desire to be different from the rest of the UK, to go against whatever Westminster does even if, as in the GM case, it makes good economic and environmental sense.

Read full, original post: SNP are the new Luddites with their ban on GM crops

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