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crop circle
crop circle
Half-baked BASF potato out of the petri-dish and into the flora!

The EU has summoned chemical company BASF to explain the release of an unapproved GM crop publicised by Greenpeace at the weekend.  An EU representative has warned that “the commission is greatly concerned” by what Greenpeace has called a “deplorable lapse in bio-security”.


The contamination was uncovered in Sweden by angry government officials who have demanded BASF and the European Commission account for the adulterated crop.


The incident will be embarrassing for BASF as the illegal plants were found in a field of ‘Amflora’ potatoes, the first crop approved for EU release in twelve years.  BASF’s ‘Amadea’ potatoes, intended for industrial starch production, have so far failed to win approval for open release. 


The incident follows a similar ‘accidental’ release of an illegal corn variety discovered in Germany and Ireland this European summer.  Like many EU nations, The Republic of Ireland has an outright ban on GM crops.


Greenpeace has called on BASF to destroy the contaminated potato crop and immediately investigate for contaminations in Germany and the Czech republic, the only other EU countries to have allowed Amflora’s commercial release.


Australians should be on alert as BASF are heavily involved in the genetically modified wheat experiment currently underway in several Australian states.  With Australian regulatory standards being well below the EU’s, how long will it be before a similar accident occurs here in our uniquely fragile ecosystem?


There are currently commercial or trial GM crops in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.  Tasmania is the only state that has maintained its moratorium on commercial GM crops.


Send a message to your relevant state minister or local member demanding a guarantee we won’t have any similar accidents.  Contact details below.


Here are some ideas and questions you might include:


  • Ask: what is better about our regulatory safeguards that guarantees accidents like this will not occur in [insert state]? 
  • Demand an assurance that our standards be raised above those of the EU in light of these recent breaches.
  • Demand a full public disclosure of current and proposed, trial and commercial crops in your state by plant breed, trait type (e.g. herbicide resistance), patent-owner, and location.



NSW –  Steve Whan MP, Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Rural Affairs, Member for Monaro.


Victoria Joe Helper MP, Minister for Agriculture, Member for Ripon.


Queensland Time Sean MP, Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries, and Rural and Regional Queensland, Member for Mackay.


Western Australia – Terry Redman MLA, Minister for Agriculture and Food.


South Australia – Michael O’Brien MP, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Minister for Regional Development, Member for Napier.

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