Feeds

EU mashes GM potato plan

BASF's Amflora off the menu

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The European Union's Council of Ministers last week delivered a serious blow to biotech companies' ambitions to roll out GM crops across the region by postponing a decision on the "commercial optimisation" of BASF's Amflora "genetically optimised potato".

According to the Telegraph, the German EU presidency canned a European Commission proposal to release the Amflora - developed by BASF for "use in industrial starch" - when it became clear that "a bloc of countries led by Austria, Greece, and Luxembourg would vote against it".

The decision was made ahead of last week's Europe's environment ministers' shindig. Although the EU lifted a moratorium on the commercial exploitation of GM crops 2004, none have been cleared for cultivation since 1998.

An official said: "It became clear that there was no way to get a majority for the first approval of a GM crop since 1998, so it has been taken off the agenda." A Brussels mandarin added: "Nine years after the moratorium we do not look any closer to authorising new GM crops for harvesting."

Greenpeace said of the announcement: "Consumers, most of whom have no desire to eat GM produce, expect politicians to put their health, food, safety, and the environment before the vested interests of a few agro-chemical companies."

BASF has stood by the safety of the Amflora spud, citing the European Food Standards Authority which has "repeatedly stated that Amflora is for humans, animals and the environment as safe as any conventional potato". ®

Bootnote

BASF describes the Amflora thus:

A genetically optimised potato, producing pure amylopectin starch, ideal for technical applications.

Conventional potatoes produce a mixture of amylopectin and amylose starch. For many technical applications, such as in the paper, textile, and adhesives industries, only amylopectin is needed; separating the two starch components is uneconomical. Amflora produces pure amylopectin starch and thus helps to safe resources, energy and costs. Moreover: Paper produced with amylopectin starch has a higher gloss. Concrete and adhesives can be processed for a longer period of time.

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.