A radical eco group which wants Scottish Government support to limit families to just two children has been given a parliamentary platform by two MSPs.
Optimum Population Trust (OPT), branded “eco-fascist” by critics, has staged a conference at the Scottish Parliament supported by SNP MSP Dr Ian McKee and Green MSP Patrick Harvie.
The radical group is urging First Minister Alex Salmond to launch a Government campaign to curb family size, using the slogan “two’s plenty”.
OPT is calling for Scotland’s population to be cut by a quarter.
Dr McKee, whose wife organised the Holyrood conference, insisted: “The world has finite resources and we can’t go on growing at the current rate. This is a taboo subject for politicians but I think it is something the Scottish Parliament should be discussing.”
He added: “I think the Government could encourage families to have less children.
“There is a lot of societal pressure to have children. I think it seems very sensible to put forward the case that people should consider carefully limiting the size of their family.”
Prominent supporters of OPT include its patron BBC naturalist Sir David Attenborough and Government eco adviser Sir Jonathon Porritt, who also briefs Prince Charles on environmental issues.
Last February Mr Porritt caused a storm when he claimed it would be “irresponsible” towards the environment to have more than two children.
Mr Porritt’s remarks were widely criticised, with commentators and family campaigners drawing comparisons with population control programmes in other countries.
He has argued before that in order to help reduce the burden of population growth women in the world’s poorest countries should be given easier access to abortion.
China’s one-child policy – adopted because of fears the country would be unable to cope with its growing population – is blamed for horrific cases of infanticide as unwanted babies were abandoned by parents and died of neglect in orphanages.
A spokesman for the Pro-Life Alliance said: “The unpleasant aspect of this is the idea that how many children you have should be down to the state.
“Wherever we have seen such policies being imposed, such as in China, we have seen a preference for male children and a rise in infanticide.”