Scottish Farmer’s News Editor, Gordon Davidson, reports that Scottish Conservatives’ leader Ruth Davidson, during First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood, said that the SNP’s stance against GM crops (August 2015) “does nothing to enhance Scotland’s long-standing reputation for scientific creativity”.
She challenged the First Minister to publish all the advice and evidence she had received on the issue, to prove that it was based on more than “polling and focus grouping”.
“This is not just about GM crops – this is about her approach to government,” said Ms Davidson. “It’s vote-chasing, political calculation – it’s not science, not industry and not jobs . . . The Royal Society of Edinburgh has published its highly critical paper on the decision, and rightly points out it wasn’t based on scientific evidence and could place Scottish businesses at a competitive disadvantage”. During the agriculture debate in Holyrood last week, Scottish Conservative rural affairs spokesman Alex Fergusson said:
“Richard Lochhead talks about protecting the ‘purity’ and ‘quality’ of Scottish produce by banning the growing of GM crops and therefore denying the potential to be able to grow those same crops without the use of chemical pesticides and fungicides that are in such common use today”.
He fails to mention that additional pesticide applications are needed in some GM crops as insects become resistant – and herbicides are needed in USA to kill the ‘superweeds’ that have developed resistance to glyphosate herbicide used on GM crops by Monsanto.
Below: the dishonest but widely propagated myth, equating traditional plant-to-plant cross breeding with the GM practices of combining genetic material across species – plant/animal/bacteria/virus.
“Plant and animal breeding and cross breeding has been going on since time immemorial, and GM technology is simply an extension of that science . . . ,” insisted Mr Fergusson.
The dishonest but widely propagated myth that GM technology is essential to ‘feed the world’
“It has the potential to provide an exciting new future for agriculture – of which the principle purpose must always be to feed an ever-increasing world population” – not so according to many authorities, including UNEP, FOE, Nature Biotechnology, Indian analyst and the Organic Research Centre.
Jadwiga Lopata and Julian Rose (below) send news from Poland’s Ministry of the Environment
Confirmation has been received from Poland’s Ministry of the Environment that Poland has sent a letter confirming its intention of applying to the European Commission in Brussels for 8 GM opt-outs, covering all varieties of GM maize developed for use in agriculture, in accordance with Clause 17 of the recent legislation.
The Association for a GMO Free Poland and the International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside prompted the Polish government to act on the GMO opt out clause – application deadline, October 3rd 2015.
So far Germany, France, Greece, Latvia, Austria, Croatia, Northern Ireland and Greece have applied for the GM opt-out. Poland will be the ninth Country to take this position.
Sir Julian Rose, ICPPC President, said: The nation has a proud record of fine farmhouse foods that purvey health and welfare to millions of citizens. For this record to be maintained, GM crops must be prohibited from being cultivated on Polish soils”. Jadwiga Lopata, ICPPC Founder/Vice President, said: “Seventy five percent of Polish citizens have consistently said ‘NO to GMO!’ Government is duty bound to act on such a conclusive voice in favour
of banning GMO.
“This opt-out presents an opportunity to stand up for the independent sovereignty of Poland as a GMO Free nation. It is critical that the Polish Parliament makes a clear act banning GMO in Poland”.