BASF Blames Human Error For GM Potato Blunder – for Sep. 16, 2010

Germany’s BASF told EU officials “human error” was the most likely reason why unapproved, genetically modified potatoes developed by the firm contaminated a field in Sweden, the European Commission said.

Executives from chemical giant BASF were summoned to Brussels Sept. 8 to explain how nearly 50 of the GM potatoes – known as Amadea – were discovered among European Union-approved Amflora potatoes in late August.

The company said an error in the propagation process was the most plausible explanation for the contamination, discovered when the Amadea plant’s white flowers were spotted in a field of flowerless Amflora.

“The Commission took note of the detailed explanation given by BASF, but concluded that questions are still pending and will necessitate further clarification and action from the company,” the EU’s executive arm said in a statement.

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