The Lithuanian Government has used new European Union rules to stop the growing of genetically modified (GM) crops.
Lithuania now joins Germany, Austria, France and Northern Ireland in making use of new opt-out rules to stop GM crop cultivation, even if varieties have been approved by the EU.
It comes after Scottish Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead announced he would also make a request to use the new regulations, adding he was not prepared to ‘gamble’ with the country’s ‘clean and green’ brand.
Scottish MEP Alyn Smith said it was ‘heartening’ to see member states choosing to shun GM technology.
"The greater the territory of Europe choosing to ban cultivation, the greater a chance we have of preventing cross-border contamination of conventional and organic crops by their GM counterparts,” said Mr Smith.
"Scotland introduced the ban to protect its brand reputation for producing clean, green, high quality natural food and drink products – responding to consumer demand - and I’m pleased to see that many other nations in Europe feel exactly the same way."
Farm leaders have criticised the move, saying those producers in countries where GM is banned could be at a competitive disadvantage from their counterparts.