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.
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)