# Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The European Commission has cleared the way for a genetically modified potato to be grown in the EU for the first time. The potato will be only the second GM product to be allowed. The Amflora potato can be used for industrial uses such as making paper and for animal feed but not for human consumption and has been specially developed for the special qualities of its starch. The starch can make yarn stronger, paper glossier and keep glue liquid for longer. Although environmental groups are strongly opposed to the introduction of GM crops the Commission has insisted the decision is based upon sound science. Although it has been approved individual countries still have the right to decide whether it should be grown on their territory. It is expected to be planted in the Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands but it needs to be grown under strict conditions to stop it cross pollinating with non GM crops. For example being cultivated and harvested before it produces seeds.

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