Why have the Scottish Government banned GM crops?

The SNP Scottish Government took the decision to opt out of the use of GM crops to protect Scotland’s environment and support Scottish agriculture. Scotland is world renowned for its natural, high quality food and drink, and this is greatly promoted both at home and abroad by our reputation for being clean and green. This is a key strength of Scottish agriculture and it is important that we take steps to protect this. The use of GM crops could threaten the integrity of this brand, and therefore banning their cultivation is central to its protection and promotion.

As there is no clear evidence of a demand for GM products in Scotland – indeed, consumers remain sceptical of GM produce – there is no sense in going down this potentially damaging route. We will protect the sector’s international reputation by continuing our opt-out of the cultivation of genetically modified crops for the lifetime of this Scottish Parliament.

Scotland’s Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing has also written to the UK government to seek assurances that it will not impose cultivation of GM crops against Scotland’s will as a result of their Brexit plans.