Scotland wants to ban growing all genetically modified crops in the country.
Richard Lochhead, the cabinet secretary for Rural Affairs, announced on August 8 that the Scottish government does not want to gamble with the state of the country’s food and drink sector. They will submit a request to the European Union to be excluded from GMO cultivation.
Genetically modified crops would tarnish Scotland’s “beautiful, natural environment,” Lochhead told the BBC. “There is no evidence of significant demand for GM products by Scottish consumers and I am concerned that allowing GM crops to be grown in Scotland would damage our clean and green brand.”
Genetically modified crops must be formally approved before they are cultivated, according to EU policies. EU countries may choose to opt out of cultivating GMOs.
But some farming leaders are upset by this move. Scott Walker, chief executive of the National Farmers Union of Scotland, said that Scotland should embrace biotechnology, as other countries are doing. “These crops could have a role in shaping sustainable agriculture at some point and at the same time protecting the environment which we all cherish in Scotland,” Walker said.
The ban will not impact GM research in the country, according to Food Navigator.