The European Commission yesterday approved a genetically modified potato to be grown in the EU.
This is only the second GM product that has been allowed to be grown commercially here. The first, Monsanto’s MON 810 maize, was cleared back in 1998.
The potato is approved for industrial use only. It has been designed by the German company BASF for special properties of its starch.
There has of course been an outcry from environmentalists, as well as several MEPs and European leaders. However a statement from the Commission insisting that its decision was based on ”a considerable volume of sound science” sounded very confident, so perhaps we can look forward to a lively and evenly matched debate.
In past, voices expressing concern about the environment, biodiversity and cross-pollination have tended to be heard more than those focusing on developments which can reduce water and energy shortages and pesticide use, and in many poorer countries tackle some problems concerning malnutrition.
The news had not reached the front pages yet. I hope it will and that we see a proper informed debate about GM crops.
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