On Tuesday 2 March the European Commission has given its approval that Amflora, a genetically modified potato, can be cultivated in Europe. The decision marks the end of a twelve year embargo on cultivation of all GMOs within the EU. It is also the end of Monsanto’s monopoly in this area, as it is BASF, a German-owned company, that will produce this potato variety. As Amflora will not be used for human consumption but only for the manufacture of glues, this decision also represents Europe’s opening to an industrial agricultural market. The benefits seem clear, in particular the decrease of synthetic glues which can be environmentally harmful.
Will this decision open the doors to the cultivation of other types of GMO crops? I believe that any such change ought to be gradual and decisions must be taken only on a case-by-case basis after having evaluated a series of factors, including the interests of end-users and farmers, and the safeguarding of the environment and human health. However, Europe should not remain outside of this market but get fully involved so that it can decide and impose its own safety standards both on biosafety and industrial production.
Italy and Austria have already said NO to it. It will be interesting to see the rest of Europe’s reactions then, given the public distrust of GMO technology.
Post details from article on Corriere.it (in Italian)
Post written by Francesca Re Manning, consultant to CAS-IP