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Seòmar agus comataidhean

Meeting date: Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Health, Social Care and Sport Committee 17 May 2022 [Draft]

Agenda: Decision on Taking Business in Private, Social Care, Subordinate Legislation


Subordinate Legislation

Genetically Modified Food and Feed (Authorisations) (Scotland) Regulations 2022 (SSI 2022/137)

Agenda item 3 is consideration of a negative instrument:??the Genetically Modified Food and Feed (Authorisations) (Scotland) Regulations 2022. The regulations authorise five new types of genetically modified maize and soybean products for use in food and animal feed sold in Scotland. They also renew authorisation for the continuing use of four genetically modified maize products.

The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee considered the instrument at its meeting on 10 May 2022, when it agreed to draw the instrument to the attention of the Parliament under the general reporting ground in respect of an error in paragraphs 4(2) of schedules 3, 4 and 7. The document reference number is incorrectly stated to be EURL-VL-0417VP rather than EURL-VL-03/12VP. In response to correspondence from the DPLR Committee, the Scottish Government acknowledged that there is a referencing error in the instrument, but it does not propose to correct it.

No motions to annul have been lodged in relation to the instrument.??Do members have any comments that they wish to make?

The Genetically Modified Food and Feed (Authorisations) (Scotland) Regulations 2022 authorise nine GM food and feed products, making them available for consumption in Scotland. The Scottish Greens have long-standing concerns about the environmental impact of genetically modified crops, which are not properly addressed in the regulations. Our concern is that our status as a GM-free country will be eroded by the decision.

I also note our strong concern about the constitutional implications of the regulations and, indeed, other decisions about GM products. Scotland should have the power to make the decisions that it sees fit to protect the environment and the public. However, the reality is that it does not matter what decision we make about the regulations or any future authorisations for GM food or feed. Even if we were to withhold authorisation, that would have no material impact, because the UK has already allowed access to such products and, as a result of the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020, the Scottish Parliament cannot choose a different path.

Thank you. That is on the record.

As no other members have any comments, notwithstanding Gillian Mackay’s views, does the committee agree not to make any recommendations in relation to the?instrument?

Members indicated agreement.

At our next meeting, on 24 May, the committee will begin to take evidence as part of our inquiry into health inequalities.

That concludes the public part of our meeting.

11:02 Meeting continued in private until 11:20.