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Environment

Green Light for Hot GM Potato

Published torsdag 4 mars 2010 kl 10.45
Amflora, the genetically modified potato, developed in Sweden

For the first time a genetically modified crop will be grown commercially in Sweden. The EU- commission has given green light to the Swedish genetically modified potato Amflora.

Unlike normal potatoes, which have two kinds of starch, Amflora has been modified so it only has one. This lends it well for industrial use in for example paper, glue and concrete.

The potato was developed by a German company in Svalöv in southern Sweden in the 1990-ies. The Swedish authorities agreed to let the potato be grown already in 2004, but was obliged to seek permission from the EU.

This is only the second time the EU allows a genetically modified product to be grown in Europe. The decision is controversial because the potato was created with the help of a gene that is resistant to antibiotics. The environmental movement has warned it will spread and end up in bacteria that cause illnesses.

But the Swedish Board of Agriculture says it thinks the potato is safe.

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