Scotland Bans the Growing of GMO's
The country which spawned such great thinkers as David Hume, John Locke, and Adam Smith has gone the way of irrationality and anti-science concerning genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Scotland issued an official ban on GMO’s.
As reported by Reuters on Sunday:
Richard Lochhead, the Scottish government’s minister for the environment, food and rural affairs, said on Sunday he planned to take advantage of new European Union rules allowing countries to opt out of growing EU-authorized GM crops. “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.”
Apparently achieving the status of “clean” and “green” in Scotland requires no scientific validation. There is a continually growing body of evidence that GMO’s are safe to produce, safe to consume, and any potential or actual negative environmental impacts are overstated, if not entirely incorrect. So what is Mr. Lochhead basing his decisions upon, if not the scientific evidence?
From the announcement at the Scottish government’s website, a major reason for this position is an economic one:
“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. That is why I strongly support the continued application of the precautionary principle in relation to GM crops and intend to take full advantage of the flexibility allowed under these new EU rules to ban GM crops from being grown in Scotland.”
Pressure from constituents and lobby groups are effective in making government officials assume any given position. But perhaps there are other, larger political motivations at hand as well? According to the report by The Guardian:
The move will reinforce a long-standing moratorium on planting GM crops in Scotland and allow the Scottish National party to further distance itself from the UK government.
Regardless of the stated reasons by the Scottish government, the world’s remaining anti-GMO holdouts are arguing on the fringes of actual science and research.