SNP ignoring potential of GM foods, claims Tory MSP

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THE SCOTTISH Government has been urged to listen to scientists on the controversial issue of ­genetically modified food.

Tory Murdo Fraser said a ban on field trials of such crops is hindering work being done in Scotland.

While he said he understands concerns that GM produce can be seen as “Frankenstein foods”, he said: “I would be confident in saying there is no more risk in eating GM food than eating conventionally farmed food.”

Mr Fraser made the plea as MSPs at Holyrood debated the role of scientific evidence and advice in public policy.

GM food, which has been gene­tically engineered by scientists in a laboratory, is one area in which “we could probably do with a bit more science in terms of the debate”, he said. “It is widely believed that there are great opportunities here and the ability to feed the world’s growing population with this technology,” according to Mr Fraser.

He highlighted the “world-leading research” being done by the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie, Dundee, which is being “held back by the Scottish Government’s current approach that does not permit them to do field trials of GM crops”.