MEPs Ian Duncan and Kay Swinburne visit The Roslin Institute and SRUC
Dr Ian Duncan and Dr Kay Swinburne, Conservative MEPs for Scotland and Wales respectively, visited The Roslin Institute and Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) at the Easter Bush campus on Friday 2nd October.
The MEPs were welcomed by the Institute Director, Professor David Hume, Professor Bruce Whitelaw, Head the Developmental Biology Division at Roslin and Professor Nick Sparks, Head of the Animal & Veterinary Sciences (AVS) Group within SRUC's Research Division.
Dr Duncan and Dr Swinburne were given a brief overview of the developments on the Easter Bush Campus and of the research that is carried out at Roslin and SRUC. As they were shown around the Roslin Institute Building, they had the chance to speak with the two of Roslin's group leaders: Dr Ross Houston and Dr Andrea Wilson about their EU-funded projects investigating disease resistance in aquacultured species (FISHBOOST) and designing vaccines to improve livestock production and animal welfare (SAPHIR). They also spoke with SRUC Professor Eileen Wall on her work on climate change and livestock systems.
The MEPs expressed an interest in using the expertise at the Easter Bush Campus to inform the ongoing debate on GM crops and livestock in Europe. Conveying the opportunities that emerging genetic techniques offer for food security will be key to ensure that they are regulated appropriately.
We are very keen to use the expertise at the Roslin Institute and partner organisations to inform the debate on GM crops and animals in Europe and help ensure decisions are based on scientific evidence.
We welcomed the opportunity to present our work and vision to MEPs. The visit identified opportunities for us to engage with Brussels with the help of our representatives.
Both Ian and Kay were well informed about the challenges of conveying the facts about the benefits of genetic and genomic technologies to livestock breeding in Europe - a debate that SRUC's science and programme of public engagement are already making a significant contribution to.