Scientists are waiting for blight to test disease resistance at the half-way stage of a three-year GM potato trial on Norwich Research Park.
In February last year, scientists at the John Innes Centres Sainsbury Laboratory applied for formal permission to start a trial involving less than 200 GM potatoes, reported EDP24.
Initial results for the first year showed that trial plots withstood disease pressure from blight. As yet, blight has not been detected on plants in the latest trial although the recent warmth and rain is ideal for rapid spread of infection.
The first open air GM trial at Colney attracted intense media interest as broadcasters and newspapers in early June last year saw the 192 potato plants, each about eight inches high, in six small plots, cover an area of about two pool tables.
But despite widespread publicity, public response seemed muted, said Prof Jonathan Jones, who leads the trial programme. We engaged in a full and open debate and got full regulatory clearances. People did not seem to be too bothered and nobody seemed to be too interested, he added.