The European Commission is asking its 25 member countries to allow cultivation of a genetically modified potato owned by BASF AG. The Amflora potato modified to increase its starch content would be used for industrial purposes such as stiffening paper.
It is the first time the EU has proposed allowing a gene crop to be planted since a ban on the products ended in 2004. An EU Commission spokesman said it has received a positive scientific opinion from the European Food Safety Agency.
It would take a negative vote by two thirds of the EU countries to block the potato's introduction and BASF said it expected approval in time for the 2007 growing season.