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Colombia prepares for own GM potatoes

Researchers claim that Colombian-developed genetically modified tuber moth ( Tecia solanivora)-resistant Bt potatoes will reach the market in 4-5 years, government agency Radio Nacional de Colombia reports. The potatoes are resistant to Guatemalan tuber moths, which impact most potato crops in the Andean region from Colombia to Bolivia. María Andrea Uscátegui, director at Agro-Bio Colombia, reportedly believes that “despite being less developed than several countries”, Colombia’s favourable legislation, government support and agricultural potential strengthen the country’s position in GM crop development. “We already produce and market GM cotton, roses, and maize, and are advancing trials for important crops in Colombia, including cassava, coffee, rice, soybeans, sugar cane and potatoes. She rates potatoes as having the greatest potential. Trials for the GM potatoes were approved last year ( Agrow No 599, p 16).

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