A debate on the future of genetically modified crops has taken place in Glasgow - but only 150 people were able to attend.
A peaceful protest was held before the debate
The conference-style event was the latest in a series of six
national debates sponsored by the UK Government to gauge the views of the public.
All the tickets available for the event had been taken, according to
The Scottish National Party (SNP) criticised the government for allowing so few people into the debate, saying the event was far from being a consultation.
The vast majority of those who turned up to the Quality Hotel in Glasgow's Gordon Street were opposed to GM
Several dozen opponents unfurled banners outside the hotel saying `Scots say
no to GM crops' during a peaceful protest.
One meeting of 150 people, to take the views of five million Scots, is
anything but consultation
Roseanna Cunningham, SNP MSP
The debate had been organised by an independent steering board of experts from
a wide field of industry.
Linda Martin, 47, from the Black Isle, said: "I am a
consumer who simply does not want genetically modified crops, and cannot
understand why so much money is being spent on developing them."
Professor Jeff Maxwell, a member of the steering board who lives in Aberdeen,
said it was important to nurture debate.
He said: "The crucial thing has been to get people to debate the issues with each
"These events are introductory meetings
in the various areas of the UK, and will encourage people to take away the
material and the information on offer and hold their own meetings to
discuss the issues."
Britain is one of the few places in the world where GM crops are still not
Tests on several types of seed have been ongoing at a number
of sites in the UK for the last three years.
It had originally been hoped to have initial results of the trials known
before the series of national debates got under way.
The five other areas where the regional debates have been staged are
Birmingham, Swansea, Taunton, Belfast and Harrogate.
Scottish National Party environment spokeswoman Roseanna Cunningham said: "The government's consultation exercise is nothing but a sham.
"One meeting of 150 people, to take the views of five million Scots, is
anything but consultation.
"The reality is that feelings run so high that dozens were locked out of the
meeting, losing their voice - just as the government intended."