Highland and Islands SNP MSP has lodged a motion welcoming an international report which says that small-scale farming and ecological methods are the answer to the current food crisis as opposed to GM crops.
The report from the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) which is the agricultural equivalent of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, states that while GM crops shouldn't be ruled out in the future they are not the answer to world hunger at the moment.
He also praised the UK Government's full endorsement of the report which came in the form of a written Commons statement from UK secretary for international development Douglas Alexander
Mr Gibson said.....
"This report shows the way out of world hunger at the moment is by local production on small farms of environmentally friendly produce as opposed to the relatively untried and unapproved GM. GM could be used in the future but as the report states it is not the answer for the moment and that they do not prevent world hunger."
"For countries like Scotland it is imperative that we follow down the road of food security and that means local production, and consumption as much as possible. This has to be top quality and not GM crops which are neither needed nor wanted by consumers. "
"I shall be pursuing the issue with Scottish Environment Ministers to make sure that they include the reports findings in the general thrust of our agriculture and food policy , although I believe that the report's findings are very much in keeping with the policies of the Scottish Government. I also welcome the UK Government's endorsement of the report and would encourage their Ministers to do like wise."
Note to editor:
Copy of Rob's motion
Short Title: GM Crops Do Not Prevent World Hunger S3M-02125 Rob Gibson (Highlands and Islands) (SNP): That the Parliament congratulates the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), the agricultural equivalent of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, for concluding that data on a range of genetically modified crops indicate highly variable yields, greater in some places and less in others; notes the reluctance of the IAASTD to rule out GM crops in future, but that it rightly concludes that if the multi-million pound investment by corporations in transgenic research and development had been applied to improving conventional methods of local food production and distribution then the current world food crisis would have been more successfully addressed; applauds the overwhelming conclusion of IAASTD that small-scale farming and ecological methods provide the way forward to avert the current world food crisis, and therefore welcomes the UK Government’s approval of the IAASTD reports without reservation as confirmed in a written Commons statement by Douglas Alexander MP and encourages the Scottish and UK governments to mainstream the thrust of the IAASTD report in agricultural policy development.