Amflora: BASF expects green light from EU Commission
* Council of Ministers passed feed application on to the EU Commission for final decision
* Prompt approval for cultivation of Amflora needed in order to commercialize in 2008
* Amflora: genetically optimized starch potato for industrial use - pulp to be used as feed
During its meeting in Brussels today, the EU Council of Agricultural Ministers passed BASF Plant Science’s application for feed use of Amflora pulp on to the EU Commission. An immediate approval would have required a qualified majority of approximately 74% of votes.
“We now look forward to a decision by the EU Commission since it has initiated the process with a favorable proposal,” stated Dr. Hans Kast, president and CEO of BASF Plant Science. “We however still await the approval for commercial cultivation of Amflora, which has been in the hands of the Commission since July 2007,” Kast added.
Both Amflora proposals, for cultivation as well as feed, are based on positive evaluations of Amflora from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). EFSA repeatedly stated that Amflora is for humans, animals and the environment as safe as any conventional potato.
The application for feed use of Amflora has been submitted by BASF Plant Science to allow the use of the pulp that remains after starch extraction as feed and to document that Amflora is safe for humans and animals.
The most important prerequisite for commercialization of Amflora, however, is the approval for commercial cultivation. After an approval process that lasted more than ten years, BASF Plant Science is now awaiting approval from the EU Commission. If this approval is not granted by the end of February, commercial cultivation will not be possible in 2008.
Amflora is BASF Plant Science’s genetically optimized starch potato for industrial use such as paper making. The potato was developed together with farmers and the starch industry in Europe to strengthen the competitiveness of the potato starch market, which is mainly based in Europe. Every year, 2 million tons of potato starch, equivalent to 75% of the world market, is produced in Europe. BASF estimates that Amflora starch will provide a yearly added value of more than €100 million for the starch potato industry and farmers in Europe.
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