Crop Biotech Update

Ireland's Potatoes in GM Trial Spared from Late Blight Infection

October 10, 2012

The genetically modified (GM) potatoes undergoing trial in Ireland show no sign of late blight infection and grow quite well inspite of the virus' notoriety in the country. On the other hand, blight was discovered and had progressed through GM potatoes' conventional counterparts six days after the trial was started.

Late blight infection is a popular potato disease in Ireland and once led the country to famine in 1850s which made millions of Irish starving while some were forced to emigrate. The said potato disease has been hurting the country's agriculture sector until now. To solve this problem, Ireland's Agricultural and Food Development Authority (Teagasc) has requested the country's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct a field test of GM potatoes that are resistant to blight. On July 27, EPA gave consent to Teagasc to start its field-based research study of a GM potato variety.

To view updates on Ireland's GM Potato research, visit http://www.teagasc.ie/news/proposed_gm_potato_research.asp.