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EUROPE BASF to undertake GMO
potato trials in Europe by Michael Hogan
05-April-2012 Reuters (UK) View
HAMBURG (Reuters) - BASF
said on Thursday it will undertake trial cultivation of potatoes
containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) this year
on less than one hectare on sites in Germany, Sweden and the
The German chemicals group said in January it will transfer
its main research into GMOs crops from Germany to the United
States because of continued resistance to the crops in Europe.
But BASF said it would continue trials of crops still undergoing
the lengthy European Union approvals process.
"To maintain all options for our potato varieties,
we will continue, as announced, the approval processes already
underway and the multiplication of seed material for that
purpose," Peter Eckes, president of BASF Plant Science,
said in a statement.
"BASF is convinced that plant biotechnology is a technology
of the future," it said. "But in the mid-term,
BASF does not see any opportunities for the commercial cultivation
of genetically modified plants in Europe."
Field trials will be conducted in the east Germany state
of Saxony-Anhalt, in the provinces of Skane and Halland
in Sweden, plus the provinces of Gelderland, Drenthe and
Noord-Brabant in the Netherlands, BASF said.
The trials this year are to involve the starch potato Modena
and blight-resistant variety Fortuna.
EU policy on GM crops has long been politically fraught,
with a majority of consumers opposed to modified foods,
but the bloc relies on imports of about 30 million tonnes
of GM animal feed each year. (Editing by Jason Neely)
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