WHILE there are many things to dislike about some of the farming and food practices used on the other side of the Atlantic – like hormones in beef and milk production, and chlorinated washing of chicken – you cannot help but admire their acceptance and use of gene editing to produce more resilient crops and animals.

Because of that, there are some facts that the industry and our politicians, both in the UK and across the broader European Union, will have to face up to: That you cannot on the one hand take away the very defences we have against disease and pestilence when banning certain pesticides, fungicides and herbicides; while denying the use of technology to breed resilience into crops and animals to better protect them against their many enemies.

It is an even sadder fact that by the time politicians realise this, it will be too late and we will be forced to import food from producers who do have full access to such technology and who have embraced it wholeheartedly for what it can do for them.

The hypocrisy of it all is mind blowing, especially when you take in the measures to combat what is being called a 'climate emergency'. For instance, the importation of chlorinated chicken from elsewhere in the world (not just the US) will be but a flea on top of a dog to what could be the outcome of this wholesale race up the alley to a nett-zero carbon position.

If in Scotland, for instance, we are forced to abandon much of our livestock areas to woody the woodpecker, then we will simply import it from elsewhere in the world where they don't give two hoots [pardon the mixed ornithology] about not using glyphosate, are able to use chemistry banned here and utilise the gene-edited livestock/crops which can be produced more cheaply and with fewer inputs.

But, there is a warning siren sounding for politicians in their wholesale gallop to be seen as the squeakiest of carbon clean – ie, my sink is bigger than your sink! – and that is that the people who vote for them also like to have their choice of food on the table. They like to have the security of knowing to what standard that it has been produced to and they will want to be able to trust that it will be there week in, week out. Food security, or the lack of it, has been known to start wars.

In other words, all this holier than thou attitude towards creating a situation of 'we're alright Jack' in terms of the paper chase to becoming carbon neutral, will actually be achieving nothing in terms of reducing carbon emissions. In fact, by relying on sources of food over which we have no control over how it is produced, we may actually be 'exporting' more carbon than we are saving.

Politicians would do well to mind the old adage that: "You cannot have your cake and eat it!"