Scotland’s GM-free status under siege: first political treachery, then a needy academic onslaught

This news has to be seen in the context of the Scottish government’s concern following April’s admission by environment secretary Owen Paterson; he breached an agreement (made a lone mistake) to make Scotland’s opposition to genetically modified (GM) crops clear to European ministers.

Avoiding reference to genetic modification, the call is for ‘ new agricultural practices’

The Scottish Farmer reports a call from the hard-pressed Scottish Food Security Alliance-Crops (SFSAC), a partnership formed by the James Hutton Institute, the University of Aberdeen and the University of Dundee. Based in Invergowrie and Aberdeen the Institute is cut up to 70 jobs as part of a voluntary redundancy scheme aimed at reducing costs, according to a May BBC news item.

Or should it be the Scottish Food Insecurity Alliance-Crops?

james hutton logo

A system created to extract wealth at the expense of food producers

They fail to take into account the corporate practice of importing cheap food, often produced under poorer conditions when citing the decline UK food self-sufficiency during the past 20 years, from 87% to 68%, registered by the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

They also fail to highlight the intense political drive for British food producers to export and increase speculative flows for the wealthy who make money by playing the markets while those who do the real hard work are underpaid.

Professor Iain Gordon, chief executive of the James Hutton Institute, said: We cannot rely on what we have done in the past, we need new technology and agricultural practices if we are to overcome the challenges outlined in the report.

Professor Pete Smith, from the University of Aberdeen and leader of the food systems pillar of SFSAC, “New threats from extreme weather, changing global demand and commodity price volatility means that we need to rethink the way we produce and deliver food.

Flattering the Scottish government they say:

“Here in Scotland we are well placed to help meet the food security challenges; not only do we produce quality food products but the Scottish Government has continued to invest in agricultural science when many other developed countries have failed to support R and D in this key sector. This investment has helped position Scotland as global leader in agricultural and environmental science. The SFSAC delivers that science to those who need it most – farmers, businesses and governments.”

A warning from the SNP media centre: “The Scottish Government’s position on GM is very different to that of the UK Government – how can our Ministers trust any UK government minister who says he will take their views into account but when it comes to crunch negotiations ignore their previous pledges? With a Yes vote in September, Scotland will speak with its own voice at the EU top table.”

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Posted on July 11, 2014, in Corporate political nexus, Government, Lobbying, Planning, Vested interests and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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