BASF begins harvesting GM Amflora potatoes in Germany

31 August 2010 13:06  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--BASF has begun harvesting its genetically modified (GM) starch potato, Amflora, for commercial applications in Europe, the German chemical producer said on Tuesday.

So far this year BASF has grown 14 hectares of Amflora seed potatoes, at its site in Zepkow, in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which could now be used for the production of industrial starch, BASF said.

Rainer Bruderle, the German Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, together with BASF’s chairman Jurgen Hambrecht and a member of the group’s board of executive directors, Stefan Marcinowski, helped to harvest the first tubers of GM starch potatoes.

“German industry is playing in the international premier league with these innovative technologies, and we want to remain there,” said Bruderle.

Hambrect announced at the harvest that BASF had applied for approval for its next high-performing modern starch potato, Amadea, in Brussels on Monday.

“I hope that Amadea will be available to European farmers in the very near future. Crops optimised through biotechnology should not just provide benefits to farmers in America and Asia. Our European farmers should also get access to innovative products so they can remain competitive on the global agricultural markets,” he said.

BASF said that Amadea, which like Amflora produces pure amylopectin starch, used in the paper, textile and adhesive industries, would likely be launched in 2013/14 after receiving a positive safety assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Amadea was initially intended to complement Amflora cultivation and would later substitute BASF’s first starch potato, it added.

The European Commission authorised the commercial cultivation in the EU of Amflora in March.

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By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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