The Scottish flag should be displayed on food labels to protect its brand reputation a Glasgow MSP has said.

Bill Kidd, Anniesland SNP MSP, said that distinguishing Scottish produce, apart from plans in England to potentially allow genetically modified food is essential to ensure shoppers know the difference.

Kidd brought up the matter in the Scottish Parliament and said that a survey showed two thirds of people “preferred to see the national flag of Scotland on their food”.

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He was referring to a survey of 700 people last month which had found 65 percent preferred to see the national flag of Scotland on their food.

Just 10 percent said they like to see the Union flag more and 25percent said they did not mind either way.

The displaying of flags on food, often meat and dairy products, to show where it has been produced has been the subject of arguments with some people unhappy that Scottish produce has been labelled as British.

Previous rows have included over M&S using the Union flag on Scottish beef products and Tesco using the UK flag on chickens, and Scottish grown strawberries sold in Scottish stores.

Glasgow Times:

Some Scottish Firms including biscuit firm Tunnock’s, shortbread makers Walkers and dairy and ice cream maker Mackies have all previously been the subject of criticism for using the Union flag on their packaging instead of the saltire.

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The MSP said he was concerned about the UK plans for England on allowing gene edited crops.

He said: “The identity of Scotland’s world class produce must be protected from any action in this regard which threatens its brand reputation and provenance.”

Mhairi Gougeon, Scottish Government Rural Affairs Secretary, said the Scottish flag on packaging was a mark of quality.

She said: “The Scottish brand whether it’s the Scottish saltire or Scottish label is a key provenance mark and a signal of quality and it’s really no surprise that people in Scotland recognise this and are proudly enjoying our world class produce.”

She added the Scottish Government was not in favour of GM in farming and was in line with the European Union policy on it.

She said: “I’m aware of the government’s plan to change English regulations to enable the use of gene editing technologies and Scotland’s policy on GMOs hasn’t changed and we remain opposed to the use of GM in farming to protect he clean green brand of Scotland’s £15bn food and drink industry.

“I’m also aware there is the current debate around novel genomic techniques and how these relate to existing GM legislation and in particular the ongoing consideration of this at EU level. The Scottish Government’s policy is to remain aligned with the EU where practicable and we are closely monitoring the EU’s position on this issue.”