Scotland and Germany use “opt-out” clause to ban GMO agriculture

Operating under a recently passed law by the European Union that allows individual member countries to “opt out” of GMO cultivation, Scotland and Germany announced their decision to forbid the planting of Monsanto’s GM corn, also known as MON810.

Germany’s Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt reported the move in August, following a similar action taken by the Scottish Government which reported it made the decision in order to “protect Scotland’s clean, green status,” according to reports.

Carlo Leifert, Professor of Ecological Agriculture at Newcastle University, supports Scotland’s ban, saying that “there are likely to be significant commercial benefits from Scotland being clearly recognised as a GM-free region.”

Germany seems to agree, also basing their ban at least in part due to the environmental impacts caused by GM agriculture.

“Like Scotland, the German Government recognises the importance of protecting its food and drink sector and keeping its environment clean and green,” said Rob Gibson, a member of the Scottish National Party (SNP).

“The position taken by the Scottish Government has been welcomed by key stakeholders including leading scientists such as Prof. Carlo Leifert who have commended the Scottish Government for taking this action and warning that there are potentially significant public health risks as well as negative biodiversity and environmental impacts associated with growing GM-crops.

“Scotland’s food and drink sector is worth £14 billion nationally and is the lifeblood of many communities – taking this step protects our green brand and reputation for quality food.

“In government, the SNP has ensured that Scotland is at the forefront of environmental protection – legislating for world-leading climate change targets, significantly increasing renewable generation and placing a moratorium on fracking. The German decision shows that Scotland is now also leading Europe on GM crops.”

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