The NFU Scotland is misleading politicians and the public by suggesting livestock farmers and consumers will suffer if new genetically modified crops are not authorised in Europe for animal feed (The Herald, February 7).
The article repeats the results of the 'worst-case' scenario of a study for the European Commission's Department for Agriculture. This scenario, predicting feed shortages and high prices, is being abused by the biotechnology and animal feed industries to press EU member states to weaken safety standards.
Animal feed prices are rising because of worldwide shortages caused by poor harvests and because farmers are growing biofuels instead of food or feed. And Europe is not alone: the US is affected, despite its lax standards over GM crops, along with Canada, China and Australia. Scotland relies on its environment to market quality food. There would be no gain for Scotland from such a relaxation of standards. We urge Scottish MEPs to resist industry pressure and to ensure the EU promotes and defends health and safety standards for people, livestock and the environment around the world.
Stuart Hay, Head of Campaigns, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Edinburgh.