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Biotech: a direct or indirect solution 43-49to the agricultural economy?

GAYLE DE MARIA

AgroFOOD industry hi-tech

gayle@teknoscienze.com

A recent study by the University of Reading (UK) revealed that European farmers are missing out on €443 and €929 million each year because they are not allowed to grow genetically modified (GM) crops. As of March 2011, in fact, only two GM crops have been approved for cultivation in Europe. The more widely grown of the two, MON810, is a type of maize that helps fight off a pest endemic to areas of Europe, the European maize borer. The other is a potato for industrial use called Amflora, approved in 2010. Its waxy starch content is useful for making paper, for example. However, several European Union (EU) member states, including Italy, have issued bans on cultivation of one or both of these crops approved at EU level. Despite bans on cultivation, the EU animal feed sector is high