Potatoes developed by the German company BASF to have resistance to blight will be grown in trials in Britain next year.The GMO spuds will not be grown for human or animal consumption but rather for industrial use. ( The potato's starch is used in degradable plastics, cosmetics, medicines and more.)
Those in favor of GMO altered foods point out that modifying the potato in this manner may well be preferable to the heavy spraying of chemical fungicides necessary to combat "late blight." The fungus-like pathogen that wiped out potato harvests in Ireland in the mid 1800's continues to exist today in potato-growing areas around the world.
Many in Britain are opposed to the growing of any GMO food plants for any purpose.
According to today's Reuter's piece, " Britain's largest organic certification body, the Soil Asssociation, said, however, it was dismayed by the decision, adding there would be no market for GMO potatoes in Britain.
"The government is ignoring what consumers want to eat and their health and safety...The chances of anyone in the UK willingly buying GM potato crisps or chips are zero. This trial is a monumental waste of time and money," Soil Association policy director Peter Melchett said."
For an overview of GM crops read this from NewScientist.com.