If proper approval is given, New Zealand hopes to release genetically modified potatoes by October of 2003.
The conditional release category being sought between field testing and full release was spelled out in a 94-page report. It calls for the lifting of a moratorium.
The Royal Commission to GE organisms recommended conditional release. It will have to be approved by the Environmental Risk Management Authority, easing the way for developers to test new organisms outside containment.
“We have pest-resistant potatoes (for tuber moth) ready for farm-scale evaluation and need more certainty so that we can move ahead,” Crop and Food Research Chief Executive Paul Tocker said.
Tony Conner, who developed the GE potatoes, said the aim is to grow them on farms in all of New Zealand’s major potato-growing areas.