GM spuds trial gets the go-ahead

The government has given the green light to scientists to undertake a trial of genetically modified potatoes.

Researchers will grow a trial crop of potatoes genetically modified to resist infection by potato cyst nematodes.

DEFRA granted approval to scientists from Leeds University following a public consultation.

The crop will be grown this year.

Experts from the government’s Advisory Committee of Releases to the Environment (ACRE) evaluated the application (PDF).

The committee said it was satisfied that the proposed trial would not result in any adverse effect on human health or the environment.

Reflecting ACRE’s advice, precautionary conditions have been attached to the statutory consent for the trial.

These conditions aim to ensure that no GM material remains at the trial site after the experiment has finished.

The harvested GM potatoes will not be used for food or animal feed.

• Further background on the Leeds University application and the statutory consent.

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