GM potato field trial destruction ordered (13/3/2007)

1.Dutch Council of State ordered destruction of BASF GE potato field trial
2.GM starch potato: still no cultivation in 2007


1.Dutch Council of State ordered destruction of BASF GE potato field trial
Linda Coenen, ASEED (Netherlands), 9 March 2007

Last Wednesday, March 7th, The Council of State in The Netherlands judged in a appeal by Greenpeace that the field trials of BASF had been illegally permitted by the Ministry of Housing, Spacial Planning, andnEnvironment (VROM) and destroyed the permits immediately. The court decision was based on the grounds that 1) these potatoes had been insufficiently tested in a controlled environment (like a greenhouse or laboratory) to be release in the open, and 2) the Ministry had not been able to do a proper environmental effect assessment (as required) since BASF had failed to provide information specific enough for this purpose on the location of the trial sites. It concerns three BASF GM potato varieties, two with changed starch content similar to the Amflora-potato and one with hightened late blight resistence. All three are also herbicide-resistent.

Court decision (Dutch):

Greenpeace press release (Dutch):

Trial descriptions:


2.GM starch potato: still no cultivation in 2007
GMO Compass, Germany, 5 March 2007

The Amflora potato, developed by BASF Plant Science with an altered starch composition, apparently may not yet be cultivated this year in the EU. As reported by the magazine Agrar Europe, the European Commission has requested an opinion from the European Medicines Agency, EMEA, as prerequisite to an approval decision.

The subject of interest is the marker gene used in the potato, making it resistant against the antibiotic kanamycin. GM plants are only approved in the EU, if the containing resistance gene has no harmful effects on health and environment. According to a current study by the World Health Organisation, WHO, the relevant antibiotic kanamycin may have a greater importance in veterinary medicine than has been assumed to date. However, the European Food Safety Authority has already identified no safety concerns which may have an adverse effect upon approval.

The Amflora potato contains only starch with the amylopectin component, and delivers renewable raw material to the starch industry. Its cultivation was planned already for 2007. Three cultivation areas have been registered provisionally in the site register of the Federal Bureau for Consumer Protection, BVL.

GMO-Compass: Amflora approval

GMO-Compass: Why Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Transgenic Plants?

GMO-Compass: Alternatives to Antibiotic Resistance Marker Genes http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/safety/human_health/129.docu.html

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