Speaking before 90 guests at SRUC’s annual stakeholder dinner, Professor Dame Anne Glover said she would ‘defend to the death’ EU members state governments’ right to decide not to grow GM, as part of the democratic process. However, she expressed concern about Scotland’s anti-GM decision because it suggested scientific testing had not proven GM to be safe.
“Nothing has been more rigorously tested,” she said.
“The technology we use to produce GM is safe. If we could use technology which has been proven to be safe to make agriculture more efficient, with fewer inputs, we would be doing a good thing for the environment and for the quality of the food we eat.”
Prof Dame Glover, who has formerly held posts as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Scottish Government and the president of the European Commission, was speaking in the wider context of the need for Scotland to embrace innovation in order to support sustainable agriculture to feed the world’s growing population.
She added: “Without thinking of new ways of doing things we will be trampled in the rush by others who do this.
“The impact of Scottish research relative to our GDP makes us number one in the world. We are very good at innovation and generating knowledge and we have a responsibility to transfer that to those who can use it for greatest impact.”