A trial for a new blight-resistant strain of GM potato has begun.

The three-year trial is being overseen by the Sainsbury Laboratory on a 1,000 sq m plot in Norfolk. The new strain has been developed to combat phytophthora infestans, a fungus that causes late blight in spuds.

News of the trial – which is being funded with public money, including £20,000 on security to prevent disruption by protesters – comes amid the latest row over government support for GM.

New environment secretary Caroline Spelman this week came out in favour of the controversial technology – but critics have raised concerns over her close business links to the agriculture industry.

Read more
New row breaks out as Defra boss gives backing to GM (7 June 2010)
Second Opinion: Hurrah for a new, hardier potato (3 April 2010)