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Unwanted Potatoes and Bird Flu

  • December 9th, 2006
  • Posted by EUEditor

fields-resize.jpgA European Council of Ministers from member countries of the EU has shelved a scientific recommendation in favour of letting a genetically modified, blue-black potato be grown in the fields.

The executive Commission had forwarded the recommendation from a scientific panel, saying the product was not for human consumption, but a starch potato wanted for making paper and pulp.

Though enhanced in some ways it did not spread itself over wide areas, and very rigorous scientific standards had been used in its evaluation.

Ministers sitting on the Council are elected members of national governments, and would be aware of a strong public lobby in Europe against GM products.

No action was taken to endorse the potato’s use.


Europe has extended its ban on all imports of captive live birds, for three months to the end of March.

The ban, first adopted in October 2005, forms part of EU preventive measures against avian influenza.

The European Commission had been planning an earlier review on quarantine and other controls affecting birds, and has taken time to obtain further scientific advice.

In the meantime a large gathering of veterinary and ornithology experts has taken place in Brussels (1.12.06) to discuss the role of wild birds in the spread of avian influenza during outbreaks in the EU earlier this year.