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GM potato to reduce blight disease

Newswire18  |  New Delhi 

Introduction of genetically modified potato seeds would reduce damages due to occurrence of the blight disease, said a senior scientist at the Shimla-based Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI).
The gene-modified potato seeds would enhance the crop's overall resistance against blight, a commonly found disease in potato, said S K Pandey, director of CPRI.
The institute had estimated 10-15 per cent crop damage due to blight for the last crop season (Oct-Mar).
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court has allowed fresh field trials on genetically modified potatoes, rice, mustard, tomatoes, cauliflower and groundnuts.
A three-member bench, headed by chief justice K G Balakrishnan, also lifted a ban on conducting fresh field trails of new gene-modified cotton varieties.
Till the latest court order, India allowed commercial cultivation of GM cottonseeds and not food crops.
Presently, a collaborative research programme on genetically-modified potato seed is on at CPRI in association with the US-based Cornell University.

First Published: Thu, May 10 2007. 00:00 IST