Germany approves GM potato trial

Germany has agreed to allow test cultivation of Amflora, a genetically modified potato manufactured by chemicals giant BASF, the Agriculture Ministry said on Monday.

Amflora poses “no danger for human health or the environment,” a ministry spokeswoman told AFP.

Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner decided to give the go-ahead to the trials after an “in-depth examination” and talks with scientific and economic experts, the spokeswoman said.

Amflora is a potato modified to produce starch consisting almost exclusively of a substance called amylopectin which is used in the paper, adhesives, textiles, construction and cosmetics industries.

Berlin’s decision comes two weeks after Aigner controversially banned a type of genetically-modified maize manufactured by US biotech giant Monsanto. Aigner said she was outlawing the cultivation of MON 810 maize – modified to be super resistant against crop-destroying insects – on environmental grounds.

But opponents of the decision noted that the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, had reported no environmental or health concerns linked to MON 810.

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