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Controversial GM potato trial to yield results in weeks

| | September 7, 2012

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

A controversial study into the environmental impact of genetically modified (GM) potatoes in Oak Park, Co Carlow, is expected to start showing results within weeks.

Almost two weeks ago, the agricultural development body Teagasc planted 24 GM potato plants that have improved resistance to late potato blight alongside conventional potato plants.

Dr Ewen Mullins, Teagasc’s senior research officer at Oak Park, said blight had already started to show in a drill of non-GM potatoes, specifically planted because they were vulnerable to blight. He is watching to see if this spreads to the drills containing the GM and non-GM plants. “If that blight takes hold, we’ll have an idea of what’s happening with our GM line within a week.” The study is looking at the impact of the GM potatoes on the soil, particularly on its bacterial, fungal and earthworm diversity.

View the original article here: Controversial GM potato trial to yield results in weeks

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