SNP and Green MSPs have been accused of a “betrayal” after voting down a Labour attempt to enshrine a right to food in Scotland.  

Rhoda Grant tried to amend the Good Food Nation Bill on Wednesday, but saw her changes knocked back by the government and Tory members of the Rural Affairs, Islands and Natural Environment Committee.

Both the Greens and the SNP back right to food legislation, and have committed to introducing a new law as part of the Bute House co-operation agreement. 

The Greens said that Ms Grant’s amendment was only for show and would have had “no legal effect.”

Scotland, as part of the UK, is signed up to international human rights laws protecting the right to food. However, it’s not incorporated into Scotland's domestic laws, which means it cannot be directly enforced in court

Effectively, a new law would see the Scottish Government responsible for ensuring that food is available, accessible, and adequate for everyone.

There would be a formal mechanism to ensure the right to food is taken into account systematically by the Scottish Government or Scottish Parliament. 

Ms Grant said the vote at committee was “a complete betrayal of the thousands of people in Scotland struggling to put food on the table.” 

She added: “The SNP and the Greens both claim to support protecting the right to food in law, but today they refused. 

“This dither and delay is all the more shameful while the worst cost of living crisis in decades piles pressure on families across the country.  

“Once again this SNP/Green government has failed to step up to the mark and use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to make a difference in people’s lives. 

“I will continue to fight to enshrine this basic human right in law, so we can tackle the scandal of food poverty once and for all.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Greens said: “The Labour Party amendment as drafted would have had no legal effect so we did not support it. Instead, we supported other amendments which address concerns raised by stakeholders.

"The Bute House Agreement commits the government to bring forward a Scottish Human Rights Bill that will give effect to the right of food in this parliamentary session.”

SNP MSP Karen Adam described Ms Grant's remark as "blatant misinformation from a Labour MSP who should know better."

She added: "The SNP Scottish Government has clearly set out a path to putting the Right to Food into law, through the Human Rights Bill.

"If Scottish Labour want to help the thousands of people in Scotland are struggling to put food on the table as a result of a cost of living with Westminster crisis then they should stop with this spin and start supporting the SNP's calls for further powers to be devolved to Holyrood so we can support families being abandoned by the Tory UK government."