Scotland Announces Total Ban on GM Crops

Posted on Aug 9 2015 - 1:19pm by Sustainable Pulse

Growing genetically modified (GM) crops will not be permitted in Scotland, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has announced as he moved to protect Scotland’s clean, green status.

Mr Lochhead has confirmed that the Scottish Government intends to take advantage of new EU rules allowing countries to opt out of growing EU-authorised GM crops.

The Scottish Government will shortly submit a request that Scotland is excluded from any European consents for the cultivation of GM crops, including the variety of genetically modified maize already approved and six other GM crops that are awaiting authorisation.

The Cabinet Secretary said:

“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.

“There is no evidence of significant demand for GM products by Scottish consumers and I am concerned that allowing GM crops to be grown in Scotland would damage our clean and green brand, thereby gambling with the future of our £14 billion food and drink sector.

“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.

“The Scottish Government has long-standing concerns about GM crops – concerns that are shared by other European countries and consumers, and which should not be dismissed lightly.

“I firmly believe that GM policy in Scotland should be guided by what’s best for our economy and our own agricultural sector rather than the priorities of others. I recently kicked off a national discussion on the future of Scottish agriculture, and welcome views from all sides of the GM debate.”


Under EU rules, GM crops must be formally authorised before they can be cultivated in the EU geographical area.

The amendment to Directive 2001/18/EC came into force earlier this year and allows Member States and Devolved Administrations to restrict or ban the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) within their territory.

The amended directive applies to new cultivation dossiers and not GMOs that have already been or are currently being considered for approval. Transitional arrangements have been put in place to enable Member States and Devolved Administrations to request that their territory is excluded from any consents in relation to applications that were received prior to April 2, 2015.

Member States/Regions wishing to use the transitional arrangements to opt out of growing EU approved GM maize MON 810 or any of the GM maize varieties currently awaiting EU approval must notify the European Commission by October 2, 2015.

The Rural Affairs Secretary kicked off a national discussion on the Future of Scottish Agriculture at the Turriff Show on Monday:

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

  1. Sams August 9, 2015 at 15:29 - Reply

    Bravo. Good to know that there are few places in the world where the governments care for the people and both the people and the government have pride in their land, culture and inheritance; and value that enough to preserve and nurture it.

  2. Tannachton Farm August 9, 2015 at 18:15 - Reply

    Good for the leaders of Scotland – What a joy to know that when i purchase locally grown products, i won’t have to worry that they are GE. Hope to get to Scotland again soon.

  3. Roger Pelizzari August 9, 2015 at 19:52 - Reply

    I’m part Scottish and I’m celebrating. Bravo Scotties?

  4. Raymond A Kukkee August 9, 2015 at 23:28 - Reply

    Congratulations! Common sense prevails in Scotland, unlike in Canada and the USA, where politicians continue to enable Monsanto’s GMOs and Frankenfoods

  5. Tywana August 10, 2015 at 06:57 - Reply

    This is incredibly wonderful!! I can only pray that the US will someday follow!!

  6. Daleen August 10, 2015 at 08:08 - Reply

    Edit: I’m happy to see news of Scotland rejecting GMO’s! I wish the USA and other countries would follow suit! I’m glad to know that when I find and buy food from Scotland, it will be free of GMO’s! (Aldi’s grocery stores often carry cheese from Ireland, Wales and Scotland- It is amazing!!! And I often buy shortbread from Scotland, as well.

  7. Janita Jenni Kira Boulton August 10, 2015 at 10:38 - Reply

    Ta da! 🙂

  8. Janet Freeman August 10, 2015 at 16:22 - Reply

    Bravo to Scottland! Here’s to hoping we can have a change in our National Leadership with the next Presidential election in the USA to effect such a change for the American people, as our country, and the welfare of it’s citizen’s, has been hijacked by corrupt Politicans and powerful special interest groups. Scottland is a shining example… Well done…and my support for President will be going to Bernie Sanders from Vermont, the only State in the USA to require GMO labeling. People have a right to know what they are putting into their bodies…and to not destroy the environment. Clean and green, Scottland has it right….!!

  9. George Jardine August 10, 2015 at 23:53 - Reply

    Scotch is a major export around the world , Scotch ! it cannot be contaminated with toxic GMOs the grain has to be pure. purity is why Scotch is synonymous excellence and the best there is.

  10. Alexis August 12, 2015 at 12:29 - Reply

    Woohoo ! So proud of my country 🙂 I am extremely pleased at this !!

    It is so nice to see such lovely comments about our small country !
    Hope your countries follow suit

  11. Tomas Flores August 14, 2015 at 19:33 - Reply

    Asi es….Un refugio mas para la naturalidad…..

  12. jo August 17, 2015 at 20:52 - Reply

    never mind that the Scotch will kill ya

  13. Juan Santander August 20, 2015 at 01:22 - Reply

    Congratulations to the Scots citizens because they have a government that cares about the quality of life of its people and its food sovereignty. Mexico needs such statesmen and not corrupt people.

  14. Mj August 21, 2015 at 02:33 - Reply

    Bravo indeed. Scotland should have more of a sat in what happens to us in England too. Id like to move to Scotland if England doesn’t opt out.. Cant trust the Tories and Cameron to make the right decision, which should be a very loud and definite NO to GM food – theyre always about the money and never about what’s best for people.

  15. Nkunimdini Asante-Antwi January 26, 2017 at 23:59 - Reply

    A new political administration in Ghana just took office in January 2017 and has appointment a minister of agriculture who is reported to be in support of GMO. Unfortunately for anti-GMO activists in Ghana, the battle is not just against lackeys of Monsanto in government but a legal framework that embraces GMO. Scotland and 27 other EU countries give me hope that someday our struggle against Monsanto will bear fruits in Ghana too. Congrats to the Scottish government. You have done good for your people.

  16. Tara Cameron-Mills August 11, 2017 at 05:57 - Reply

    Good for you for your intelligent responsible decision to ban GMO food. I kind of wish my people hadn’t left the Highlands to come to Canada. In Canada we don’t even have the choice because our government refuses to label GMO foods.
    Congrats to you!

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