The new German government has given its support to the growing of Amflora GM potatoes.
The new coalition government says it will promote a policy of responsible use of plant biotechnology in the country, endorsing the growing of genetically modified Amflora starch potatoes, produced by chemical company BASF.
Growers hope the government will now encourage a decision to be made on the cultivation of the potato at a European level. Previous German governments had abstained in voting on genetically modified crop cultivation.
The Amflora potato was developed by BASF and an application for its approval for cultivation was first submitted in 2003. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) conducted a scientific safety assessment and upon the conclusion of tests in 2005, the EFSA declared the Amflora line to be identical to conventional potatoes with regard to its effect on the environment.
On the basis of this declaration, the EU Commission recommended the approval of Amflora for cultivation within the Union. However, this recommendation was unable in 2007 to find support from a qualified majority of ministerial representatives of Member States in the European Council.
As foreseen by EU law, ultimate responsibility for approval then was conferred to the Commission where a decision has yet to be made.