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Saturday 21 April 2018

Genetically modified potatoes to be grown in Ireland after green light for trial

Aideen Sheehan

Aideen Sheehan

GENETICALLY modified potatoes will be grown in Ireland after the Environmental Protection Agency gave the green light to trials.

State research body Teagasc has received consent to carry out field trials on genetically modified potatoes.

The potatoes have been altered to improve resistance to late potato blight which Teagasc say costs farmers here €15m a year in lost crops.

Trials will be carried out for four years at Teagasc headquarters in Oak Park, Co Carlow.

They will be subject to strict conditions with regular monitoring and reports to the EPA, who will make this information available to the public.

The EPA said they had received 83 submissions from interested parties, and these had been considered during the licensing process.

A previous attempt to trial GM crops in Ireland in the 1990s provoked strong protest from environmentalists opposed to the technology leading to the experiment being called off.

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