"The present system for approvals by-passes local democracy and raises levels of concern in local communities...The council is democractically elected and is pledged to openness and fairness. We expect the same from the Scottish Executive in a subject as important as GM crop trials." -David Green, Highland Council convener
Council in plea to destroy GM rape crop
The Herald, Feb 20 2001
A 40-acre field of genetically modified oil seed rape currently growing near Munlochy on the Black Isle should be destroyed before it flowers in six to eight weeks time, a new government commission was told yesterday.
Members of the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission heard evidence yesterday in Inverness on the government's decision to allow the GM field trial to proceed on Roskill Farm.
They heard how Highland Council in September 1999 had gone out of its way to make clear to the Scottish Executive that it had expected to be consulted prior to any GM field trial being agreed in the Highlands; and how in August 2000, without any consultation, it was announced in the press that the Munlochy trial would proceed, along with three in Aberdeenshire.
They also heard evidence from the executive's own environmental watchdog and regulator, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, that it had received no warning of the trials, and from organic farmers of the risks posed to them by GM trials.
David Green, Highland Council convener, told the commission: "The present system for approvals by-passes local democracy and raises levels of concern in local communities...The council is democractically elected and is pledged to openness and fairness.
"We expect the same from the Scottish Executive in a subject as important as GM crop trials."
Mr Green said that the Highlands depended economically on its reputation for a clean, healthy environment
"Faced with the needs of the 800 million people who are suffering from hunger, we don't need GMOs." UN Food and Agriculture Organisation Director-General Jacques Diouf
"We already know today that most of the problems that are to be addressed via Golden Rice and other GMOs can be resolved in matter of days, with the right political will." Hans Herren, Director General of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology and winner of the World Food Prize 1995
"I don't think any of us would disagree that, if an alternative exists to a GE solution, it's to be preferred" Mr Hodson QC acting on behalf of the Life Sciences Network at the New Zealand Royal Commission on Genetic Modification, 8th Feb 2001