BASF puts in application for GM potato trials in UK

Field trials of genetically modified potatoes could be up and running early next year.

Biotechnology company BASF has put in an application for two trials to study the performance of a new blight resistant GM potato variety.

If approved by DEFRA, the GM potatoes will be planted next spring on two 1ha sites – one at the National Institute of Agricultural Botany in Cambridgeshire and one on a farm in Derbyshire.

The trials will be conducted over four years.

“Late blight has a significant impact on UK food production,” said BASF’s Barry Sticklings. “If the genes help protect potato crops, it will be a scientific breakthrough”

For more details of the trials and industry reaction see Farmers Weekly out on Friday, 25 August.