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Irish potato farmers, facing blight scare, look to GMOs but EU turns blind eye

| | December 27, 2013

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

GM is important for Ireland. The country’s staple pototao crop is being threatened. Farmers typically spray 10-20 times against blight; organic farmers use the dangerous fungicide called Bordeaux mix, which releases toxic copper into the environment. Teagasc, Ireland’s agricultural agency, is testing blight-resistant GM potatoes, and it would be relatively simple to use biotechnology to make potatoes blight-resistant. The new GM varieties would need much less or even no spraying. Can one imagine a “greener” project?

Over the last 40 years, genetic modification has revolutionized fundamental biology, medicine, agriculture and forensic science. Europe has been a laggard. The political establishment has adopted a highly politicized regulatory system that has made it almost impossible to grow GM crops in Europe. While US farmers have benefited by $78 billion (1996-2010), European farmers and consumers have been denied the use of this innovative science for nearly 20 years.

Read the full, original story: Ireland losing out because of irrational hostility to GM

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