Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has pointed to two reports on farming as to why Scotland needs a national food policy for the future food security of the country.
His comments come after UNESCO published a report on the future of farming saying that more local food production using sustainable, natural and ecological farming methods, as well as safeguards to protect rapidly dwindling resources is needed to arrest the soaring food pricing which are leading to riots world wide. Further support came from the EU which published findings which raised grave concerns over the safety of Brazilian beef.
MR Gibson said:
"Each report makes the case for local clean food production and to be as self sufficient as possible. That is what lies at the heart of the development of a Scottish food policy. The Scottish Government is on the right track with this policy which could see Scotland prosper well into the future."
Mr Gibson said he was greatly encouraged to read that a UNESCO food expert calling for an 'agriculture less dependent on fossil fuels and that favours the use of locally available resources' and that scientists said they saw 'little role for GM, as it is currently practiced in feeding the poor on a large scale'.
"This backs up the idea that, as it stands, GM offers more dangers than it does opportunities for feeding the world. Indeed it points the way more organic way of farming, as opposed to large scale industrial farming. Scotland with its strong world-wide reputation for clean, safe and tasty food, is in an ideal position to lead the world in the new farming direction which is needed. I have faith in farmers and Government that we can be trail blazers for UNESCO and show the world how it should be done."
Commenting on the dangers of Brazilian beef he said:
"That is why a National Food Policy for Scotland cannot be compromised by imported beef of doubtful health status being offered by supermarkets on shelves next to prime Scotch beef which is top class. I will be writing to Richard Lochhead to raise the issue."