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GM potatoes

British government squanders millions conducting secret GM potato trials while non-GM variety already performs spectacularly

Friday, July 08, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: GM potatoes, crop yields, health news

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(NaturalNews) For the past ten years, the British government has been quietly subsidizing research aimed at developing a genetically-modified (GM) potato resistant to blight, the fungal disease responsible for causing the infamous Irish potato famine.

According to Indymedia UK, Sainsbury Laboratory, the group tasked with development, has already spent roughly 1.7 million pounds ($2.7 million) worth of public funds to develop the GM potato, despite the fact that a natural blight-resistant variety has already been successfully bred and in use for the past three years.

Unlike in the US where GM crops are widely cultivated, GM crops have never been commercially grown in the UK. Widespread public opposition to their introduction back in 1997, as well as continued opposition, has kept them largely out of food and off the land. And yet reports explains that the GM potato research being conducted by Sainsbury -- with public funding -- is so secretive that nobody knows for sure whether or not any open-air trials of test GM potatoes have taken place.

Meanwhile, a small Welsh research group three years ago successful bred a natural, non-GM potato variety with natural resistance to blight -- and that potato variety has been in cultivation ever since that time. As opposed to GM crops, this blight-resistant potato -- which is now available in more than six different varieties -- is safe for the environment, safe for human consumption, and it does not require the yearly repurchasing of terminator seeds and expensive chemical pesticides in order to grow.

But the British government continues to pour money into useless endeavors to develop a GM variety, which has prompted Stop GM, a UK group devoted to ending the spread of GMOs, to take action. The group is holding an event on July 23 to speak out against the abuse of public funds by the UK government, and it needs your help to make it a success. Part of this event will include the dropping off of a trailer full of safe, non-GM, blight-resistant potatoes at the Sainsbury research center where the GM potato trials are taking place.

To learn more about how you can help fight GMOs in the UK, visit:

Sources for this story include:


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