|Image by Timothy Valentine (off the grid) on Flickr|
Just in case you thought that MP Owen Paterson's orchestrated media campaign (see WESTMINSTER'S PRO-GM PUSH - January 2013) and MP George Freeman's various carefully-positioned friends (see KEEPING WESTMINSTER ON THEFRONT FOOT - January 2013) are succeeding in changing attitudes to GM in Scotland, relax.
The Scottish Government is very clear about the key principles which guide its opposition to GM:
- The precautionary principle - insufficient evidence has been presented that GM crops are safe
- The preventative principle - the cultivation of GM crops could tarnish Scotland's natural environment and damage wider aspects of the Scottish economy such as tourism and the production of high quality, natural food.
- The democratic principle - science-based decision making cannot replace the will of the people. There is no evidence of a demand for GM products by Scottish consumers.
And Scotland is not 'going it alone'.
The Welsh government is also giving strong signals that it will maintain “the most precautionary and restrictive approach possible, consistent with UK and EU law”.
Across Europe, more than 172 regions and more than 4,500 sub-regions have declared themselves GMO-free zones (including Wales and the Highland and Island Region in Scotland).
Scotland is paying more attention to the science (or lack of it), more attention to our irreplaceable environmental assets, and more attention to democracy than America and England. Hurray for Scotland!
Welsh Government confirms GM-free Policy, GM-Free Cymru Press release, 22.01.13