If the European Union chooses to invest in gene edited crops, the Scottish government would not follow suit according to First Minister John Swinney.

The SNP leader spoke to The SF confirming the party’s opinion on the issue during his visit of The Royal Highland Show alongside minister for agriculture Jim Fairlie.

“The SNP’s stance is not to pursue GE. Even if they wish to in Europe, it is not in our interest.” Mr Swinney explained.

“Here in Scotland we produce a high quality of produce and I would not like to take away from that.”

Mr Swinney is instead wishing to focus on supporting farmers in the rise of labour shortages and funding issues.

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“The farming industry has a deep knowledge and I believe we need to utilise that. I want to take forward a partnership with farmers as agriculture is one of our strongest sectors.”

In regard to the lower premium prices Scottish farmers are facing, minister for agriculture Jim Fairlie said “Our premium brand produce is still there and still working. It is down to retailers and processors to cooperate for the products available, but the quality is still there.”

When asked how the SNP would be able to provide that support in the case of an independent Scotland Mr Swinney stated:

“Food production is a fundamental part of any independent country especially Scotland. We would want to work closely with the community to create the support that is needed so that we know what a sustainable farming country looks like. Our relationship with the EU would also be critical for that.”