It's not often that governments stop GM crops, but it happens - this time it's the South Africa government that rejected the Agriculture Research Council's (ARC's) application to provide Bt potatoes to local farmers, saying it was concerned about its safety and economic effect.
The Bt potato SpuntaG2 produces a Bt toxin against tuber moths and contained the antibiotic resistance nptII, which is also one of the problems raised with the GM potato Amflora. Campaigners had reported earlier that the ARC work was funded by USAID
“This is probably the most significant victory of my career. For a pro-genetically modified government to refuse a commercial application on safety grounds is quite ground breaking,” said the African Centre for Biosafety’s director Mariam Mayet according to an article in South African newspaper.
Campaigners had pointed out before that the
Protests against this so-called "super-spuds" came from a rather unlikely corners as well: Potatoes SA, McDonald’s, and other food retailers had expressed concerns about consumers choices. McDonald’s even went as far as saying that it would not use GM potoatoes in any of its products. Any chance that McDonalds lives up to this statement in other countries and for other crops as well?