EXECUTIVE ARE NOT LISTENING, SAYS HIGHLAND CONVENER
The Highland Council Convener David Green has warned
the Scottish Executive they face a backlash from the Highland community
for giving the go ahead to a second GM crop trial in the Black Isle. He
argues the Executive should have followed a precautionary approach of
delaying further experimentation until the results of a study into the
first trial at Munlochy are known and until the local community is more
fully consulted and informed about the process.
Councillor Green said: "It is not fair on the Black Isle community to have another trial imposed upon it when so many questions remain unanswered. I have absolutely no doubt that attitudes will now harden as the result of this decision. I relayed the strength of the local concern to the Rural Affairs Minister recently when I underlined the Councils view that no further trials should be approved until the Agriculture and Environmental Commission had reported on their findings of the first trial. This is a sensible precautionary approach. It is disappointing that this advice has been ignored."
Councillor David Alston, Black Isle North, in
whose area the first trial was held, said: "For over a year The
Highland Council has campaigned for greater openness and accountability
on GM crop trials. We went to the Court of Session to try,
unsuccessfully, to bring crop trials within the planning process; we
brought the AEBC (Agriculture, Environment and Biotechnology Commission)
to the Highlands to take evidence on the trial at Munlochy last year;
and we have
"Ross Finnie has repeatedly said that he can only act on the scientific advice given to him. This appears to be clear advice, from his scientific advisers, that there are concerns, specific to this site, which have not been addressed."