South Africa rejects commercial production of GMO potatoes

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

South Africa has rejected genetically modified potatoes for commercial production, raising questions about a double standard that allows GM corn, cotton and soy to be grown and sold there, IndependentOnline reports.

Field trials in South Africa began 12 years ago on the SpuntaG2 — a potato genetically modified to produce a toxin that kills the potato tuber moth.

The move was welcomed by the anti-GM lobby, but raised questions about government double standards. GM corn, cotton and soybean are grown commercially in South Africa using the same gene as the rejected potatoes to produce a bactericidal protein, IOL reports.

Genetically modified potatoes would place an unnecessary burden on potato farmers — especially small-scale producers — to keep them separate from conventional potatoes, Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana said.

The government hasn’t been concerned about keeping GM corn, soy or cotton separate from non-GM crops, according to the report.

Each GM application is treated on a case-by-case basis, government spokeswoman Bomikazi Molapo said. “The decision on the GM potato did not set any particular precedent for current or future GM crops.”

Read full, original post: South Africa Says No To GM Potatoes, But GM Corn, Soy, Cotton Are OK

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