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Study reveals true cost of developing GMO potatoes

Staff Writer | August 17, 2016
A recent study has revealed that the cost of developing GM potato varieties is in fact not that much more than for conventionally-bred varieties.
GMO potatoes
Good food   Two independently not-for-profit assessed projects
The study published in the International Journal of Biotechnology demystifies the belief that releasing a GM crop costs tens, if not hundreds, of millions of U.S. dollars.

The study assessed the cost and time of developing a GM late blight resistant (LBr) potato variety for deregulation and release as a public good, in a specific developing country.

Two independently not-for-profit assessed projects have estimated that to deliver one LBr variety to resource-poor farmers in a developing country, it would cost between $1.3-1.5 million, within a period of eight to nine years. Such costs are not far from a conventionally-bred variety.

Publicly funded institutions have been deterred from developing biotech crops because of the cost implications attached to the process of developing and releasing a GM variety.

These findings therefore suggest that public institutions in developing countries can make a significant contribution to crop improvement through genetic engineering.