Cultivation, import and processing of genetically modified amylopectin potato BPS-A1020-5
This application concerns cultivation, import and processing of the genetically modified potato BPS-A1020-5. This potato contains a gbss RNAi construct which silences the endogenous GBSS gene. As a result of this modification, BPS-A1020-5 predominantly produces amylopectin. In addition, due to the expression of the introduced csr1-2 gene, BPS-A1020-5 is less sensitive to imidazolinone herbicides.
Previously, COGEM advised positively on a small scale (category 1) field trial with BPS-A1020-5. Furthermore, COGEM advised positively on the cultivation, import and processing of similar genetically modified amylose-free potatoes in 2004 and 2010.
In the Netherlands, potato (S. tuberosum) may give rise to volunteers. Outside the field, potato has difficulties to establish itself. There are no reasons to assume that the inserted trait will allow BPS-A1020-5 to establish feral populations. The field trials that were carried out by the applicant did not reveal any signs of an increased fitness of BPS-A1020-5. In addition, routine agricultural practices like ploughing, harrowing, herbicide application and compulsory measures to control potato blight, eliminate emerging volunteer plants in the field. In the Netherlands, wild relatives of S. tuberosum are present, but incompatibility barriers prevent hybridization between S. tuberosum and these wild relatives.
The molecular characterization of BPS-A1020-5 potato does not give any reason to expect adverse effects. It is adequately performed and meets the criteria laid down by COGEM. There are no reasons to assume that the traits introduced in BPS-A1020-5 will affect non-target organisms adversely.
Based on the considerations described above, COGEM is of the opinion that cultivation of BPS-A1020-5 potato poses a negligible risk to the environment. The general surveillance plan can, however, be improved.
COGEM points out that a food/feed safety assessment is carried out by other organizations. Therefore, COGEM abstains from advice on the potential risks of incidental consumption.