Published online: May 12, 2008 Alan Harman
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The British government has given permission for thousands of GM potatoes to be grown in a move that is expected to provoke a new confrontation with environmentalists.

Secretary of State for the Environment Hilary Benn has approved scientists at Leeds University cultivate the potato engineered to resist eelworm in a trial over three years in a field near Tadcaster, North Yorkshire.

The GM Freeze protest group says it is considering taking legal action.

Last year protest actions forced the end of trials for a potato modified against blight.

Now researchers at Leeds University's Faculty of Biological Sciences plan to grow 1,200 potato plants with an added a gene to the potato's roots that is designed to give it resistance to eelworm.