Commission Midday Express, 5 December 2006
The Regulatory Committee set up under Directive 2001/18/EC and composed of representatives of the Member States voted on 4 December on a proposal from the European Commission to authorise the placing on the EU market of a new GM starch potato for cultivation and industrial processing. As the Committee failed to act, the Commission is now required to transmit the dossier to the Council. If after three months the Council does not reach a position, the proposal comes back to the Commission for final adoption. The GM potato (Solanum tuberosum L. line EH92-527-1) has been genetically modified by BASF for enhanced content of the amylopectin component of starch. The Commission's proposal aims to authorise it for cultivation and industrial starch production - and not for use as food or feed. As it has been modified for increased starch content, it does not produce a toxin to insect pests or non-target organisms. Also, the plant will not produce pollen or seeds for dissemination. The Commission's proposal follows the positive opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which concluded that the GM potato was as safe as conventional potato and unlikely to produce adverse effects to human health or the environment.