Illegal GM potato found in Sweden
European Voice, 6 September 2010
*Commission asks German firm that developed GM variety for an explanation.
The European Commission has asked German chemicals company BASF to explain why an unauthorised genetically modified variety of potato has been planted in Sweden.
The Swedish authorities discovered that the Amadea variety was planted in fields on 11 June even though it has not received authorisation for planting from the EU. The authorities have ordered the fields to be cleared.
A spokesman for John Dalli, the European commissioner for health, said today (6 September) that the Commission had asked BASF, which developed the Amadea variety, to explain the situation. He said the Commission would also contact the authorities in Germany and the Czech Republic, the two other countries where another GM potato, Amflora, has been planted. The EU approved Amflora for planting in March. The potato will be grown to provide starch for the paper industry.
BASF has filed a request for authorisation for Amadea but the approval procedure has not been completed.
Stefanie Hundsdorfer, agriculture policy advisor at campaign group Greenpeace, said the discovery of Amadea was a “deplorable lapse of bio-security”. She called on the Swedish authorities to order all crops in the fields where Amadea has been found to be destroyed and said BASF should test all fields where Amflora has been planted.