There seems to be quite a bit of news about the intoduction of GM potatoes which have been modified to resist blight. I don’t know about the implications for wild flowers or any of the other arguments that go with GM crops but on the face of it it seems a sensible route to take bearing in mind the potenetially huge losses to blight in bad years and the vast amounts of chemicals applied to keep disease at bay. Are you pro or agin’ GM spuds. That is not a politically loaded question, I’m just curious.
Are you sure that they are GM modified potatoes ? The potatoes that have been in the news in the last couple of weeks are the Sarpo strain, first raised in Hungary and now being bred in Wales. These have natural resistance to blight, require no spraying and have no other adverse effect on the environment.
It may be that commercial producers are looking for a solution through GM when they should be growing resistant varieties instead. There was an excellent feature in the Saturday Gardening pages of the Telegraph – look it up online – it was called Underground Resistance.
Hope this helps – and for the record I think that GM opens a Pandora’s Box of future problems. In the US they are now dealing with strains of superweeds that have developed resistance to GM Round-Up ready corn and the proposed solution is to use one of the chemicals that was contained in Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
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