Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI)

The Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) is an agricultural research centre based at Invergowrie, near Dundee, employing over 350 staff. It has an income in excess of £13m, the majority from public funding. However, its corporate backing is disclosed neither on its website nor to enquirers.

The SCRI was among the consortium of 3 Research Contractors (Rothamsted Research is another) who undertook the UK Government's £3M+ three-year programme of GM Crop Farm-Scale Evaluations.

The SCRI's director is Professor John Hillman who succeeded the SCRI's Acting Director, Mike Wilson. Both Hillman and Wilson are staunch advocates of GM crops. They even co-authored an article defending GM crops for a book edited by the far right free marketers Julian Morris and Roger Bate.   

Under Wilson and Hillman's direction the SCRI's promotion of itself and its science to the media and the public has become synoymous with the promotion of GM crops. In this they were assisted until his retirement by the SCRI's chief information officer, Bill MacFarlane Smith, who is also part of the biotech-industry funded lobby group CropGen, and who is still a Fellow of SCRI.   

In 2000 Hillman used the SCRI's annual report to attack organic farming. This was widely publicised thanks to MacFarlane Smith and an SCRI press release:Leading expert reopens GM  food debate (Scottish Crop Research Institute, Feb 2000).

The SCRI is a member of the BioIndustry Association, whose tagline is 'Encouraging and Promoting the Biotechnology Sector of the UK Economy'. John Hillman was formerly on its Board of Directors.   

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