German chem industry cheers EU approval of 'Amflora' potato

02 March 2010 19:58  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--The European Commission’s authorisation for commercial cultivation of BASF’s genetically-modified Amflora industrial potato marks an important signal for innovation in the 27-country EU, a chemical industry trade group said on Tuesday.

“The bio-tech industry has been waiting for this for a long time,” said Utz Tillmann, general manager of Germany's chemical trade group Verband der Chemischen Industries (VCI).

With the approval, the EU was respecting scientific facts and the globally positive experience with genetically modified plants and “green gene technology,” he said.

Only last week, the Frankfurt-based group had appealed to the commission to help end what it called the EU’s “12-year blockade” on genetically-modified plants.

In a next step, politicians and industry would now need to take measures to boost consumers’ confidence in gene-based plant technology, Tillmann said.

Ricardo Gent, general manager of VCI’s biotech affiliate Deutsche Industrievereinigung Biotechnologie (DIB), said EU farmers needed access to genetically-modified plant technology to remain competitive.

At the same time, the technology played an increasingly important role in helping small farmers in developing countries, he said.

BASF’s Amflora potato was developed specifically for the production of starch suitable for industrial applications, including paper production.

Check out Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals blog for views on sustainability issues
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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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