In the article, “Sturgeon under fire over advice on GM ban” (4 September), the First Minister is reported as saying that “the food and drinks industry is hugely important and there is a need to ensure our green clean reputation is enhanced”.
In the USA the adoption of GM herbicide-resistant crops has led to 11 per cent of farms being completely no-till and 70 per cent partially so.
Direct published measurement has shown that no-till farms have one half the emissions of organic farms (and very near woodland) and organic ones have half that of conventional agriculture.
Replacing present Scottish conventional farms and organic farms with no-till from GM crops would reduce Scottish agricultural emissions enormously, thus rendering them much greener than they are now.
The other GM alternative crop that incorporates a protein insecticide (commonly used in its raw form in dried bacteria on organic farms) reduces synthetic pesticide sprays enormously thus making the crop cleaner.
Replacing current conventional Scottish agriculture with current GM crops would thus greatly enhance both its cleanness and greenness with knock-on improvements for the food and drink industry which Ms Sturgeon claims she wishes to do.
In your editorial, when the GM situation arose, you did ask for evidence that justifies this completely contradictory policy. How much longer must we wait?
(Prof) Tony Trewavas FRS FRSE
Scientific Alliance Scotland
North St David Street