• 21/01/13
  • Comments: 2

By Mike Small

In December, we published our open letter on a GM Free Scotland in response to the Westminster government’s announcement in support of relaxing the rules on GM crop development.  We asked the Scottish Government to re-articulate their opposition to GM foods in Scotland, and to assert the fact that agriculture is an issue devolved to Holyrood – and they listened.

We’re delighted to say that Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, has replied to our letter at the start of the year, and not only confirmed that the Scottish Government’s position on GM food has not changed, but also laid out the following principles which guide their opposition;

  • 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.

The fact that the Scottish government has put together these sound, well-reasoned principles to guide their opposition gives us real hope that Scotland can be a strong voice against the pro-GM lobby in the years to come, and we can focus our attention on building a sustainable food system for the next generation.

The resistance to GM food in Europe is greater than ever. More than 172regions (of recognised “European Region” status) and more than 4500 areas of sub-regional status have declared themselves GMO-free zones all over Europe. There are GM-free initiatives virtually in every European country.

See the GMO-Free Europe campaign website for more details.

Many thanks to the following who supported this Open Letter and the many members who have voiced their concerns :


David Atkinson, Scottish Food and Drink Leadership Forum
Laura Stewart, Director, Soil Association, Scotland
Patrick Krause, Chief Executive, Scottish Crofting Federation
Jo Hunt, farmer
Mike Small, Fife Diet
Rob Gibson MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross
Alison Johnstone MSP
Anthony Jackson, Munlochy GM Vigil
Clem Sandison, Glasgow Local Food Network
Eva Schonveld, Transition Scotland
Liz Murray, World Development Movement
Joanna Blythman, restaurant critic, author
Donald Reid, food writer
Wendy Gudmundsson
Mary Church, Friends of the Earth Scotland
Jane Gray, Let’s Live Local
Pete Ritchie, Chair, Nourish Scotland
Slow Food Edinburgh
Greig Robertson, Edible Estates
Dirk Douglas, Earthy
Sascha Grierson, organic farmer
Teresa Martinez, Environmental Consultant
Abi Mordin, Urban Roots
Neil Lovelock, Towards Transition Glasgow
Scott Erwin, Green City Wholefoods
James Chapman, Permaculture Scotland
Sandra Smith, GM Free Scotland
Alan Brown, Transition Linlithgow
Jane Ellis, Scottish Organics Producer Association
Jane Cullingworth, Forth Environment Link

  • Helen Samfat March 15, 2015 at 21:23

    Remember that the feed given to the animals and poultry should be GM free also

  • Susan bel February 22, 2015 at 16:09

    Food should be CLEAN and WHOLESOME