Scotland Bans GMO’s

Scotland Bans GMO's

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In the land of bagpipes and kilts, the rural affairs secretary of Scotland Richard Lochhead announced that his country plans to ban the cultivation of GMO crops. In his words “Just because GM crops can be cultivated in Scotland, doesn’t mean they should be.” This ban only applies to crops, and research in Scotland on GM plants may still continue in laboratories or sealed glasshouses. “Scotland is known around the world for our beautiful natural environment — and banning growing genetically modified crops will protect and further enhance our clean, green status,” Richard Lochhead said.  The concern over GMO crops has been based on the heavy use of herbicide and insecticide which had in the past been limited in use by industrial farmers, because extremely high doses would kill their plants. So we humans benefitted from these old crops, because they would essentially die if doused in too much herbicide like Round-Up. However, GMO crops are resistant to even the heaviest use of herbicides and insecticides, thus no longer limiting farmers to spraying heavily on their fields. This side effect of growing GMO seeds, and the health concerns of high doses of herbicides now in the food supply, farmland and water is what has spurred the non GMO campaign. In the entire UK, there are no GMO’s currently being cultivated, aside from genetically modified corn MON 810 grown in Spain. This particular seed has a gene inserted that allows the plant to produce a toxin that kills or harms insects that try to eat it. It is a Monsanto line of corn and grown throughout the world. Despite the holdout against Monsanto and its GMO crops, this is beginning to change in the UK, as ministers in London have already announced plans to begin growing GMO corn and rapeseed oil throughout England. It is you, the consumer that has helped to bring about this small but significant change in Scotland. Lochhead mentions that “Scottish food and drink is valued at home and abroad for its natural, high quality which often attracts a premium price, and I have heard directly from food and drink producers in other countries that are ditching GM because of a consumer backlash,” Let’s raise a mug to this decision,and continue to enjoy their high quality non GMO food and drink. We'll see you at Trader Joe’s, looking for Walker’s Scottish Shortbread cookies. {1} Climate progress, Natasha Gelling.

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