Legislative Programme

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:55 am on 16th June 1999.

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Photo of Mary Scanlon Mary Scanlon Conservative 11:55 am, 16th June 1999

Standards of sport and access to sport in schools are issues that must be raised. I am sure that Mr McConnell will share that view.

Finally, like others, I am concerned, as a parent and as a consumer, about academic research. Members will probably agree with me that there is a crying need for credible and accurate advice and information. For more than 30 years, women have worried about the side effects of the pill and have been told that it is okay, then that it is not. Last year, they were told that it is okay. Is it, or will there be another piece of research next week that says that there are dangers?

Another major concern for people in Scotland is the measles, mumps and rubella injection. Instead of professors trying to score points against one another, week after week, we need full, credible and accurate advice. I cannot leave out BSE, and Dr Simpson has already made a point about the beef-on-the-bone ban. The Prime Minister tells us that genetically modified foods are all right, but why do we not believe that? There are major concerns on GM foods and I ask the Government to give us some leadership and guidance about them.

My final point is on national parks and I would like to endorse what David McLetchie said. Along with other members in the Highlands and Islands, I attended consultative meetings about national parks throughout Strathspey and Badenoch. At the end of a three-hour meeting, we came away with more questions than answers. It is wrong for someone to say, "It is a national park and so we will vote for it," because there are so many types of national parks. I welcome debate that will arise from that issue.