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Expert: GM crop chop is backward step.


THE former top scientific adviser to the SNP Government has slammed a decision to ban genetically modified crops.

Professor Anne Glover, who held the post between 2006 and 2011, undermined Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead's major policy by warning it will set the country back.

She said the ban will halt advances in tackling huge problems like potato blight, which can destroy crops.

And she claimed it does nothing to halt the use of chemicals in modern agriculture.

At the weekend, Lochhead said the move will protect Scotland's "clean, green status" and the country's PS14billion food and drink sector. He said there was no significant demand for the crops, which many environmentalists say could pose health risks and harm conventional farming.

But Glover, who went on to become chief science adviser to the president of the European Commission, rejected his reasons for pushing for the ban.

Yesterday, she told the Record: "It is not possible to equate 'clean and green' with anti-GM."

Glover said careful choice of GM varieties could reduce the need for heavy chemical use in agriculture. She added: "This seems like a missed opportunity for Scottish agriculture to use the best available - EU safety approved - technology to make Scotland a leader in world agriculture."


POLICY Richard Lochhead

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 11, 2015
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