Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Defra approves GM potato trial

After public consultation, Defra has given approval to Leeds University to conduct a research trial of GM potatoes this year.  The research is on potatoes that have been genetically modified to resist infection by potato cyst nematodes. 

The Leeds University application has been evaluated by the independent expert group the Advisory Committee of Releases to the Environment (ACRE).  It is satisfied that the proposed trial will not result in any adverse effect on human health or the environment. 

Reflecting ACRE’s advice, precautionary conditions have been attached to the statutory consent for the trial.  These conditions aim to ensure that GM potato material does not persist at the trial site.  The harvested GM potatoes will not be used for food or animal feed.


Notes to Editors

  1. Further background on the Leeds University application and the statutory consent can be found at:
  2. The relevant ACRE advice is available at:



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