GM potato trials branded "a waste of public money"

Potatoes at the Sainsbury's Laboratory - image:GM Watch
Potatoes at the Sainsbury's Laboratory - image:GM Watch
The three-year programme to develop blight-resistant GM potatoes at the Sainsbury's Laboratory (reported yesterday) has been criticised as a waste of £3m of public money.

Soil Association head of policy Emma Hockridge said: "There is no market for GM potatoes in the UK. They were rejected by major food companies in the US in 2002."

She said that their introduction "could lead to GM contamination in the supply chain", and added: "As Defra have acknowledged, there is risk of contamination in later years via potato volunteers."

The pressure group GM Watch claimed the trials were "misleading" as they excluded existing non-GM blight-resistant varieties such as the Sarpo varieties, using only the "highly blight-prone" Desiree and Maris Piper instead.

"Sarpos have been tested successfully against multiple strains of blight while the JIC's GM potato can only resist one," it added in a statement, pointing out that the Sarpo programme by contrast receives no public money.

Any commercial GM potato crop growing is unlikely any time soon given current EU regulations.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

Horticulture Week Top UK FRUIT PRODUCERS

See our exclusive RANKING of UK Fruit Producers by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Horticulture Week Top UK GLASSHOUSE SALAD GROWERS

See our exclusive RANKING of UK Salad Growers by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS.

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production
 

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon