SNP Ministers in denial on crisis in food poverty & farmed animal welfare
SNP Ministers are in denial on the crisis in food poverty and farmed animal welfare, according to the Scottish Greens who today (13 Sep) will use a Holyrood debate to highlight the government's failure to bring forward a Good Food Nation Bill.
The legislation was an SNP manifesto pledge in 2016 but has been quietly downgraded to a "programme" of industry marketing in the Programme for Government.
This afternoon (Thu) Holyrood will debate a government motion "celebrating" Scotland’s food and drink "success story", and the Greens have lodged an amendment calling for wide-ranging legislation that looks at all aspects of food policy, including health, poverty, and the environment.
It comes just days after a BBC documentary highlighted government support for the cruel and unnecessary practice of sending dairy calves on long journeys to Europe and North Africa for slaughter, follows last week's revelations about lice infestation in salmon farms - an industry the government wants to expand - and comes after experts warned that 220,000 Scottish children living in poverty are not getting a healthy diet.
Mark Ruskell MSP, Food and Farming spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:
"It's stomach-turning that the government can come to the parliament chamber with a motion that says everything's wonderful in the land of food and drink, when they know full well that hundreds of thousands of children in Scotland are malnourished. Given the persistent levels of poverty and growing concerns around how we treat the animals we eat, it's clear we have a government in denial, watering down their promise of a Good Food Nation Bill.
"Greens have long championed the need for a joined up approach to food production that improves public health and the environment and delivers social justice. Yes, Scotland produces some amazing food and drink but we cannot gloss over poverty and ethics. Instead we need a real commitment from government to support the potential for high quality food production to tackle these problems."
Child poverty means 220,000 Scottish kids don't get a healthy diet (Daily Record, 5 Sep)