Gene Editing

– in the Scottish Parliament on 30th September 2021.

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Photo of Rachael Hamilton Rachael Hamilton Conservative

Mike Coffey of Scotland’s Rural College said:

“With the state of the planet, we need to do something rather urgently. We no longer have the luxury of having decades to breed ... plants and animals.”

The Roslin Institute, the NFU Scotland and the SRUC are all concerned that the SNP Government is adopting an outdated European Union position in rejecting gene editing and putting farmers in Scotland on the back foot instead of grasping science and innovation. Does the First Minister agree with David Michie of the NFUS that gene editing will benefit animal welfare, public health, the environment and farmers?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I have not seen those comments in full, but I am happy to look at them and to consider them carefully. Those are serious issues.

The quality of our food and agriculture is important. I do not support genetically modified crops; opposition to that is important. I know that we are not talking about exactly the same thing, but it is important to consider all these things carefully. I will consider the comments and say more once I have had the opportunity to do that.