By Ned Stafford
The European Commission has authorised cultivation of a new GM crop for the first time in 12 years, approving BASF’s genetically modified potato Amflora for industrial use. The move has given GM advocates hope that a backlog of applications for other GM crops will also be authorised.
In addition to giving German chemical giant BASF its long-sought approval for Amflora, genetically modified to produce pure amylopectin starch for technical applications in the paper, textile and adhesives industries, the commission on 2 March issued a complementary authorisation covering use of the potato’s starch by-products as feed. The commission also announced authorisations for three GM maize products – from Monsanto, Syngenta and Pioneer – to be placed on the market for food and feed uses but not for cultivation.
Morten Nielsen, director of green biotechnology at the European Association for Bioindustries (EuropaBio), described the autho
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