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Monday, 19 April 2010

EU: Commission controversy over GM potato

The European Commission approved Amflora for use in starch production, and for use by the paper industry. The decision has been controversial and President Barroso was questioned about this decision by MEPs. On 2 March 2010, the Commission adopted two decisions regarding the Genetically Modified Amflora potato : the first authorises the cultivation of Amflora in the EU for industrial use, and the second relates to the use of Amflora’s starch by-products as feed. The decision to authorise the cultivation of Amflora marks the end of a process which started in Sweden in January 2003. The authorisations are valid for 10 years. National governments could not reach a decisive opinion on whether to approve or reject the potato variety, neither when they voted on the issue in an expert committee nor when the issue was put to farm ministers. Commenting on the issue, Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli said : "Responsible innovation will be my guiding principle when dealing with innovative technologies. After an extensive and thorough review of the five pending GM files, it became clear to me that there were no new scientific issues that merited further assessment… By taking these decisions, the European Commission fulfils its role in a responsible manner. These decisions are based on a series of favourable safety assessments carried out over the years by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).In parallel we have today launched a reflection on how to combine a European authorisation system with the freedom of Member Sates to decide on cultivation on GMO’s."

Source: FreshPlaza.com