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BASF plans 5-year GMO potato experiment near Hill of Tara
Sunday January 29, 2006 02:41 by Michael O'Callaghan - GM-free Ireland Network mail at gmfreeireland dot org http://www.gmfreeireland.org +353 (0)404 43885
The German company BASF Plant Science GmbH (an affilate of the giant transnational chemicals and drugs company BASF) has notified the EPA of its intention to deliberately release GMO potatoes into the environment 9km south of the Hill of Tara, on a 2 Ha plot at Arodstown, Summerhill, Co. Meath. The site is located 2km north of the R156 road between Dunboyne and Summerhill (approx. OS grid reference: N 885 500). If given the go-ahead, this would be the first Irish release of GMO crops since protestors ended Monsanto's GMO beet trials in 1998. The Notification submitted by BASF does not appear to include plans for any environmental impact assessment. Farmers, environmental groups and consumers have expressed total opposition to this unwanted experiment which would terminate Ireland's economically valuable GM-free status. The deadline for related public submissions to the EPA is 5pm on 22 February 2006.
On 13 January 2006, BASF Plant Science GmbH (an affilate of the giant transnational chemicals and drugs company BASF) notified the EPA of its proposal to deliberately release GMO potatoes into the environment 9km south of the Hill of Tara, on a 2 Ha plot at Arodstown, Summerhill, Co. Meath.
The townland of Arodstown is located 2km north of the R156 road between Dunboyne and Summerhill, shown in the lower right corner of the Discovery Series map no. 42. Approximate OS grid reference: N 885 500.
View large area map: http://www.gmfreeireland.org//potato/map1.php
View local area map: http://www.gmfreeireland.org//potato/map2.php
The proposed five-year "field trial" experiment would take place from April 2006 to October 2010.
According the the documentation provided by BASF, the GMO potatoes in question have been modified by introducing the following mixtures of foreign genetic material:
• genes from a wild Mexican potato variety that provides some resistance to the late potato blight fungus Phytopthora infestans;
• marker genes from mouse-ear cress (a plant related to cabbage and mustard) that conveys tolerance to "Imazamox" herbicide (which contains banned Imidazolinones);
• two vector genes from a bacterium called Agrobacterium tumefaciens.
It appears that no environmental or health impact studies are planned.
Following an advertisement in the Irish Independent on 26 January 2006, the deadline for related public submissions to the EPA is 5pm on 22 February 2006.
Related documents found on the EPA web site (www.epa.ie) on 27 January 2006:
• Advertisement in the Irish Independent of 26 January 2006: http://www.gmfreeireland.org/potato/EPA/BASF/advertisement.doc
• Register of GMO Users in Ireland, Notification Ref. No. B/IE/06/01: http://www.gmfreeireland.org/potato/EPA/BASF/register.doc
(3-page Word document)
• Summary notification format for the release of genetically modified higher plants
According to Council Decision 2002/81/EC.
Notification number B/IE/06/01.
(4-page Word document from BASF Plant Science GMbH).
for the release into the environment of genetically modified potatoes with improved resistance to Phytopthora infestans (2006 - 2010)
(52-page Word document from BASF Plant Science GmbH.)
• General information note
in relation to the making of representations to the EPA
regarding a notification under the Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) Regulations - S.I. No. 500 of 2003.
(2-page Word document from the EPA).