Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Food sovereignty message as relevant in Scotland as Africa

News Release
Immediate Release


Rob Gibson SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands has welcomed the visit of an international food sovereignty expert to visit Dingwall auction mart and farmers market.

Last Saturday Rob welcomed the study visit of Patrick Mulvany Chair of the UK Food Group a network of NGOs concerned with global food and farming issues to the Highlands.

Rob said:

“Patrick and I agreed that the SNP policy to create a National Food Policy can play an important role in kick starting the food sovereignty debate here and very practically helping to ensure willing home buyers for the quality produce of Highland farms and crofts.

“I met Patrick on Thursday in Holyrood and he then met other MSPs including Bill Wilson and John Scott. On Friday he met with the Scottish Crofting Foundation. It is clear that his work is as relevant in countries as diverse as Scotland and Mali in West Africa. Localised food systems and valuing food producers is key to the future of each of our economies.

“Ironically on the day of our meeting in Dingwall the SNFU President Jim McLaren was reportedly speaking at a seminar in St Andrews University calling for a reopened debate on GM crops. Mr McLaren claimed without any proof that this would help to address climate change and protect the environment better than traditional methods.

“The SNP considers that GM crops and GM animal feed have no place in a sustainable food policy here in Scotland or in Africa. The GM industry has failed and the Scottish Government, along with a majority of EU member states, seeks conventional and organic production in the future and Holyrood will soon debate the strict environmental liability.

“The message of the food sovereignty movement is to work with nature and put control of production into local hands. Flawed GM technologies steal nature and biodiversity in the name of profit. The SNP position on a GM moratorium has to be developed into demands that non-GM animal feed becomes mandatory in
Scotland. This could be met by non-GM Soya which is plentiful in Brazil and other countries but it could also create far more jobs in growing our own animal feed in the future.”


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