back to article EU mashes GM potato plan

The European Union's Council of Ministers last week delivered a serious blow to biotech companies' ambitions to roll out GM crops across the region by postponing a decision on the "commercial optimisation" of BASF's Amflora "genetically optimised potato". According to the Telegraph, the German EU presidency canned a European …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Down with el cheapo stripey-goods GM chav-fodder.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big changes + small testing = disaster

    They make huge changes to the plants, they test for only a limited set of generations and the result of those two things is a disaster waiting to happen.

    Vista programmers have the source code but they can't get Vista bug free despite all the testing, what makes you think a geneticist has found all the bugs in their product after much more limited testing, no source code and no email address to contact the original designer.

  3. Janus

    Let them eat cake?

    Snobbery and Luddism in one neat little package - you're an upper-middle-class, Independent-reading, scientifically-illiterate hypochondriac, aren't you?

    As Jonathan Swift said:

    “Whoever could make two ears of corn or two blades of grass to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before would deserve better of mankind and do more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together”

  4. Adam Azarchs

    Idiot scaremongers

    The alternatives are: genetic modification, excessive fertilizer and pesticide use, deforestation to put more land under cultivation, or causing random mutations by bombarding seeds with radiation or chemical agents and then picking the survivors which developed good traits. I think the risk/benefit analysis here is pretty obviously in favor of GM crops. The changes being made are really rather small.

    Come on, these things aren't even for human consumption!

  5. Ishkandar

    Re. Adam Azarchs

    >Greenpeace said of the announcement: "Consumers, most of whom have no desire to eat GM produce, expect politicians to put their health, food, safety, and the environment before the vested interests of a few agro-chemical companies."

    Of course, they are frightened ! Imagine if the paste they use for DIY wallpapering suddenly gets up and stick to them instead !! Then again, the fact that ordinarily produced (non-GM) paste also sticks to them is quite beside the point !

    And glossy paper is only useful for the production of lads mags and other publications of the higher shelves, not the Independent !!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bad GM doesn't necessarily equal deadly GM

    I too am keen to exploit the potential of GM crops to improve the world but the fact is, safety is not the only measure of whether GM products are dangerous.

    GM products have the potential to cross with non-GM products and change crops forever.

    The transferred characteristics may be relatively benign and result only in a narrowing of the diversity available (All Potatos Become Super Starchy).

    Some characteristics may have an undesired result (Weeds becoming glyphosate resistant, seeds having limited viability).

    Others may come completely from left field.

    The fact is, science has a piss-poor record on these things. Industry, an even worse one. The tunnel vision that comes from scientific discovery and the singlemindedness that comes from commercialisation are a terrifying combination if left unregulated.

    Meet Bufo Marinus and Dichloro Diphenyl Trichloroethane. Safe as houses, and scientifically proven to solve all your problems.

  7. WarrenG

    These bio companies are so arrogant

    To think a few years of research can come up with answers that millions of years of evolution hasn't? The only people who benefit from these vile products are the shareholders, look no further than the GM scandal happening in the US, GM corn is now linked to many diseases including strain on the liver, kidneys and other vital organs. If it aint broke, don't fix it.

  8. Jim


    So, to demand scientific rigour above commercial interests is luddism? My understandong is that luddism is the distrust/hatred/whatever of ALL technology, not just one or two concepts.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We must never allow GM & examples why

    GM crops (eg. happened with canola in Canada) contaminate organic and conventional farms. There will be NO co-existence POSSIBLE of GM and normal/organic crops, if we allow the corrupt corporations to do what they want. Pigs fed GM soy in Germany died. Other pigs are born with ghastly mutations. Cows fed GM corn mysteriously died in Germany. Soy allergies + 50% in UK after intoduction of GM soy.

    We know from secret FDA documents released during trials that GM crops caused allergies, release of toxins, antibiotics resistant diseases, nutritional problems,... long term testing needed! Publically the FDA stated: "we have no information [on possible side effects of using GMO foods]".

    Also keep in mind they are using GM bacteria (since around 1988) for producing medicide (eg. GM L-tryptophan many people have died from taking it). And also GM salmon endanger the whole species (the GM ones become dominant).

    Eating genetically modified food is gambling with your health.I see no benefits of using GM as it only brings negative "surprises", the fairy tale that it will solve world hunger is a complete lie, who believes this anyway? Words from a Monsanto executive (same company that made Agent Orange & approved DDT and delicious growth hormone milk): "we see a world where 100% of all commercial seed are GM and patented".

    Also check into Percy Schmeiser's story on Youtube.

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