I strongly believe the Scottish Government is right in banning genetically modified crops.
First, the process of safety testing of GMO-crops and associated herbicide use in Europe is still a completely flawed process.
Second, there are potentially significant public health risks associated with the large-scale growing of the current generation of GMO-crops.
Third, there are likely to be negative biodiversity and environmental impacts associated with growing GM-crops. Fourth, there is likely to be no commercial benefit for farmers from the currently available GM-crops.
Fifth, while there are likely to be significant commercial benefits from Scotland being clearly recognised as a GM-free region for producers of major Scottish export crops/crop products (such as potato, cereals, oil seed rape, soft fruit and whisky), banning GMOs is also a very brave step to take given the political power of the GMO-crop proponents. I hope other governments in Europe will be encouraged by this and stand up to the self-interest-driven interference of multinational biotech companies and their lobbyists in national decision making processes, and the lobbying of parts of the academic community which push GM-crops as a commercial justification for its own fundamental genetics and molecular biology research.
Professor for Ecological Agriculture
School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development