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Caithness News Bulletins May 2004

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G M Crops News      

27 May 04
The Highland Council’s Chairman of the Land & Environment Select Committee, Councillor Richard Durham today addressed Moray Council’s Environmental Services Committee at its meeting in Elgin.

Councillor Durham said: “We are asking that our neighbours in the Highlands & Islands consider their position in regard to GM crops.  We would be delighted if you were able to add the name of Moray to the list of areas that is seeking GM-free status.”

Councillor Durham highlighted the risks that GM crops pose to the economy of the Highlands:  “Think of Moray and the mind conjures images of barley, whisky and cattle, set amidst forests, mountains and moors.  Ask yourselves, will that image sell better or worse if Moray is also perceived as GM-free?”

After debating the issue, Moray Councillors agreed unanimously to follow Highland Council’s lead and declare Moray as a GM-free zone.  Councillor Durham expressed his pleasure at the Moray decision.  He said: “This is an important first step in forming an alliance of GM-free Councils in the North of Scotland and will strengthen our voice with the Scottish Executive in Edinburgh.” 

The Highland Council will continue to canvass support for its GM-free stance from the other Councils in the Highlands & Islands area.  Councillor Durham is due to address the Environmental Services Committee of Western Isles Council on this matter at their meeting on 17th June.

Rob Gibson MSP Welcomes Moray Council Decision
Rob Gibson SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands has welcomed Moray Council's  decision to join the European GM Free Zone, and is calling for Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles Councils to follow suit.
Mr. Gibson said.

"This is an encouraging move from Moray Council and along with Highland Council stance it is reassuring to know that from Keith to Durness will be GM free, however it would be more reassuring if the Island's Councils also decided to join the scheme."
"If all the councils in the Highlands and Islands  joined in this Network then it would send a message to the Scottish people and Executive that GM crops are neither wanted nor needed and that they pose a threat to Scotland's clean farming image."


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