EC Gives Amflora Starch Potato the Green Light

Monsanto's 3 Genetically Modified Corn Varieties Also Approved

02.03.2010 -

The European Commission has approved Amflora, BASF's genetically optimized starch potato, for commercial application in Europe. The potato can now be used for the production of industrial starch.

"After waiting for more than 13 years, we are delighted that the European Commission has approved Amflora," said Stefan Marcinowski, member of the board of executive directors of BASF.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirmed on several occasions during the approval process that Amflora is safe for humans, animals and the environment, BASF said in a press statement.

Now that the European Commission has given its approval to Amflora's commercial cultivation, Sweden as the "rapporteur" country will formally issue its legal approval. The application for approval of Amflora was filed in Sweden in 1996.

Amflora produces pure amylopectin starch used in certain technical applications. Food use is not foreseen. It was developed in collaboration with experts from the European starch industry to respond to the demand for pure amylopectin starch. Conventional potatoes produce a mixture of amylopectin and amylose starch. For many technical applications, such as in the paper, textile and adhesives industries, pure amylopectin is advantageous, but separating the two starch component is uneconomical.

BASF said the industry will benefit from high-quality Amflora starch that optimizes industrial processes: it gives paper a higher gloss, and concrete and adhesives can be processed for a longer period of time. This reduces the consumption of energy, additives and raw materials such as water.

In addition, the European Commission also said it had approved three genetically modified corn varieties made by U.S. biotech firm Monsanto for food and feed uses and import and processing in the EU.