Norway to the future
Thursday, April 08, 2004
Sweden says yes to gengineered potato
In this article from Dagens Nyheter (Swedish) we can read that the potato with the catchy name EH92-527-1 have been approved for commercial growth by the Swedish Board of Agriculture.
It is the composition of the starch in the potato that has been modified. A 'normal' potato contains 85% amylopectin and 15% amylose. The EH92-527-1 contains respectively 98% and 2%, the increased amylopectin level produces a starch that is more efficient in industrial applications, and can be used in f.ex. paper production, while the by-products of the starch production can be used as animal food and fertilizer.
The potato has been grown in test crops since 1994, and the danger of an uncontrolled spread of the potato is small, as the plant does not reproduce using seeds, rather than growing from other planted potatoes.
Sweden needs a unanimous approval from the EU Commission to allow commercial crops of the potato.
The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation are skeptical to the new potato, saying that the proposed benefits do not sufficiently outweigh the risks. They are sceptical to the potato's immune system, its possible resistance to antibiotics, as well as the EUs laws on genigeneered products.
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