UK Government Ignores Scotland’s Opposition to GM Crops in EU

Posted on Apr 27 2014 - 4:47pm by Sustainable Pulse

UK environment secretary Owen Paterson’s has failed to represent Scotland after admitting breaching an agreement to make Scotland’s opposition to genetically modified (GM) crops clear to European ministers.

The Westminster environment boss promised Scottish Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse that he would say that Scotland took a different view on GM from the UK at negotiations at the European Union’s Environment Council in Brussels. But he then failed to do so.

Mr Paterson this week told the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs Committee that it was “unfortunate” that he had not said what had been agreed and claimed he used the wrong speaking notes at the EU meeting.

Scottish National Party MSP and Convener of the Rural Affairs Committee Rob Gibson said:

“Owen Paterson’s selfish negotiating stance underlines the need for Scotland to have its own voice in the EU.

“The UK Government cannot claim to represent Scotland’s views at EU level when its Ministers fail to speak on lines previously agreed with Scottish and Welsh Ministers.

“The Scottish Government’s position on GM is very different to that of the UK Government – how can our Ministers trust any UK government minister who says he will take their views into account but when it comes to crunch negotiations ignore their previous pledges? With a Yes vote (for an independent Scotland) in September, Scotland will speak with its own voice at the EU top table.”

Paterson is a keen GM fan, telling a farmers’ conference in Oxford in January that Europe could become “the museum of world farming” if countries failed to embrace GM crops. The Scottish government, however, is opposed to the cultivation of GM crops, believing they could damage the environment and threaten the reputation of Scotland’s food and drink industry.

Wheelhouse told the Sunday Herald that he was “very disappointed” that Paterson failed to mention the need for regional autonomy on GM crop cultivation despite an agreement beforehand to do so. The Council meeting, which brought together environment ministers from across Europe on 3 March, was debating legislative proposals allowing countries to ban GM crops.

“This was the one thing that both the Scottish government and our counterparts in the Welsh Assembly government wanted raised, yet Mr Paterson didn’t mention it,” said Wheelhouse. “This makes a mockery of the claim that Scotland is properly represented in Brussels by Westminster.”

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5 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. David Salter April 27, 2014 at 22:37 - Reply

    I will go out on a limb here, and predict that when Patterson finally gets the boot, that there is a very lucrative job waiting for him in the private sector – namely the biotech industry. I can’t believe simple bribes or campaign contributions can adequately explain this morons willfull ignorance, and blatent disregard to the will of the people. He is a dangerous and greedy sociopath that doesn’t deserve any job.

  2. Russ April 28, 2014 at 11:49 - Reply

    I find it hard to believe anyone in Scotland could be so foolish as to be surprised by this. Paterson has made it crystal clear that he’s a liar with zero scruples or integrity, and that under any circumstance he’ll act as a flunkey of the US government. So why is anyone from the Scottish government pretending to be surprised by this? It has to be what they expected.

  3. Tom May 1, 2014 at 03:25 - Reply

    I applaud those who stand up to corrupt government with political agendas which support toxic GMOs!

    Food is information which triggers our cells to take action in our bodies.  GMOs may look or even taste the same as their organic food counterpart but make no mistake … GMOs are not bio-identical. 

    GMO foods are genetically and chemically different from the native organic foods they intend to mimic.  A huge pool of good scientific evidence shows the deadly and toxic human physical response to GMOs is real.   Growing and cultivating GMOs introduces dangerous chemicals and toxins into our ecosystem.  The long term safety of consuming and producing GMOs was never assured by Monsanto and not required by the FDA (in the US) and now we have a huge mess to address.

  4. Marc May 9, 2014 at 00:35 - Reply

    All i will say here is if Scotland has been ignored then Scotland has no union with England its supposed to be the United Kingdom therefore Scotland should leave the UK as soon as possible and get its opinion voiced.

  5. Donna July 11, 2014 at 01:37 - Reply

    Just visited your beautiful country (from Canada) and can tell you I was amazed at how flavourful your cheeses are. In fact I enjoyed your ice cream too (on at least 6 occasions) without issue – unlike my experiences since the 90s here in Canada. So many people here have become sensitized to dairy – industry is actually losing its customers because so many are now intolerant. Nice to see your livestock able to roam in the sun and eat what they are meant to eat – grass.

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