THE Scottish Government has been urged to be bolder and listen to scientists on the controversial issue of genetically modified food.

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser said a ban on field trials of such crops is hindering work being done in Scotland.

While he said he understands concerns that GM produce can be seen as "Frankenstein foods", he said: "I would be confident in saying there is no more risk in eating GM food than eating conventionally farmed food."

Mr Fraser made the plea as MSPs at Holyrood debated the role of scientific evidence and advice in public policy.

GM food, which has been genetically engineered by scientists in a laboratory, is one area in which "we could probably do with a bit more science in terms of the debate", he said.

"There are great opportunities here and the ability to feed the world's growing population."