GM and bad PR

IN HIS latest contributions, Professor Anthony Trewavas claims that the government’s position in refusing the introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops contradicts its position of maintaining “[Scotland’s] clean green credentials” (Letters, 5 September).

He does this by suggesting that no-till farming has substantial benefits in reducing carbon dioxide release and that this form of farming can only be used with GM crops. This form of farming tends to necessitate greater use of herbicides and greater use of herbicide resistant GM crops. It is, therefore, debatable whether of itself it can be considered a good thing. But no-till farming does not necessitate the use of GM crops as his letter infers. Non-GM crops can be used with this form of farming.

His argument is typical of that used by GM supporters who cherrypick scientific evidence to make the case for GM crops.

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In any event the Scottish Government makes the point that it is the perception of clean green credentials that is useful in marketing Scottish food products to consumers. Marketing experts will confirm introducing GM crops would be detrimental to that public perception and a letter from the Scientific Alliance is unlikely to change that.

David Morris

Newmills Road

Dalkeith, Midlothian