NOTE: Back in December we were told 'BASF expects EU approval of Amflora within weeks'. Then in February BASF issued a press release headed, 'Amflora: BASF expects green light from EU Commission'. Now it's the blame game, but the reality hasn't changed throughout - EU citizens overwhelmingly don't want BASF's GM potatoes or any other GMOs.
BASF Delays Gene-Modified Potato Crop, Blames EU for Inaction
By Stefanie Haxel
Bloomberg, March 10 2008 http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=aGdTJuHoYmNA&refer=europe
BASF SE, the world's largest chemicals maker, postponed cultivation of the genetically modified Amflora potato to at least next year after the European Commission failed to rule on its approval.
The European Union's executive body ``is violating the EU's own rules'' by delaying a decision, Hans Kast, head of BASF's Plant Science said today in a statement. The approval was withheld ``apparently for political reasons as no factual reason is given,'' he said.
It is now too late in the year to start planting the crop, altered to enhance its starch content for industrial use, spokeswoman Mette Johansson said. BASF is considering various responses including legal action, she said. Possible locations for cultivation are Germany, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
The application to grow Amflora was passed on to the Commission, the 27-nation EU's regulatory arm, in July after individual EU governments failed to reach an agreement. A second application to allow using industrial byproducts for animal feed is also still pending.