Published online: Sep 23, 2010 Potato Harvesting, Seed Potatoes, Potato Equipment
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GERMANY-The German Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, Rainer Brüderle, last week helped to start the harvesting of the Amflora potatoes in Zepkow in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Together with BASF's Chairman Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht and Dr. Stefan Marcinowski, Member of the Board of BASF's Board of Executive Directors responsible for plant biotechnology, the Minister harvested the first tubers of genetically modified starch potatoes. This year BASF has successfully grown 14 hectares at this site. Brüderle stressed that plant biotechnology can play an important role in the competitiveness and sustainability of European agriculture.

Amadea is a high-performing modern starch potato. Like Amflora, it produces pure amylopectin starch. Its agronomic properties and safety have been tested in field trials conducted over a number of years. BASF is expecting to launch the product in 2013/14 after receiving a positive safety assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Amadea is initially intended to complement Amflora cultivation and will later substitute BASF's first starch potato.
Numerous farmers and representatives from the German-based initiative "Forum Grüne Vernunft e.V." (Forum for Green Common Sense) were present at the Amflora harvest. "Discussions surrounding the use of genetically modified plants are very emotional in Germany. We want to encourage an objective dialog based on scientific facts," said Dr. Uwe Schrader, the chairman of the initiative. "This is the only unbiased way of identifying the best solutions for agriculture in Germany."

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