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News and Comment

Letter to Scottish Government from research organisations

18 August 2015

28 research organisations have written an open letter to the Scottish Minister for Rural Affairs Mr Richard Lochhead in response to his plan to ban GM in Scotland.

The Scottish Government intends to ban the cultivation of genetically modified crops regardless of current or future scientific evidence about the benefits of particular applications.

This consigns Scotland to ageing agricultural practices, risks constraining Scotland's contribution to research and leaving Scotland without access to agricultural innovations that are making farming more sustainable elsewhere in the world.

Policies based on determined ignorance rather than a scientific assessment of risk will leave Scotland without what it needs to develop its agriculture and improve the environment.

Signatories on the open letter include the heads of institutions such as the Royal Society of Edinburgh, The Roslin Institute, and the European Academies Science Advisory Council, as well as universities in England, Wales and Scotland.

If you want to help then please email Mr Lochhead and ask him to meet with researchers. Please copy us into those emails so we can keep track of how many emails Mr Lochhead receives. 

*** Update - 4th September ***

Mr Richard Lochhead has agreed to meet with representatives of the research community to discuss their concerns. We will let you know the outcome of this meeting as soon as possible. 


BBC News - GM crop ban 'threatens research' say scientists

Herald Scotland - Scientists warn over plans to ban growing GM crops

The Times - Ban on GM crops ‘uninformed’ (£)

Scottish Daily MailGM ban could harm food and drug research, experts warn

Science - Scientists protest Scotland’s ban of GM crops

The Scientist - Scientists oppose Scotland's GM crop ban

The Courier & Advertiser - Lochhead taken to task ove GM ban

STV News - GM crops ban 'would constrain' Scotland's contribution to science

BBC Radio Scotland - Good Morning Scotland (1:44:30)

BBC Radio Scotland - John Beattie Show (1:09:53)

BBC 2 Scotland - Scotland 2015 (17:22)





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