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South Africa rejects GM potato trials

South Africa has rejected on health and safety grounds an application to cultivate genetically modified potatoes. The government’s executive council on GMOs issued its findings against the request for release of tuber moth ( Phthorimaea operculella)-resistant Spunta G2 potatoes from the country’s Agricultural Research Council (ARC) in August. It cited concerns on: the unlikely segregation of GM and non-GM crops from a lack of an identity system; incapacity of small-scale farmers to use risk management measures; the toxicity tests on animals, data gaps on the alteration to the crop’s allergen content from the Bt gene; and that the tuber moth was “not a major factor” in the use of pesticides and Spunta G2 was therefore unlikely to lead to lower applications.


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