The EU has approved the cultivation of a genetically modified potato and the use of three types of altered maize, saying they don't pose a health risk. The go-ahead for the Amflora potato � developed by BASF SE, based in Ludwigshafen, Germany � was the first green light in 12 years to grow a genetically modified food in the EU. Critics accused the European commission of pandering to corporate interests at the expense of public health. The EU executive also approved the marketing of three genetically modified maize products from Monsanto, based in St Louis, Missouri, for food and feed purposes � though not their cultivation. The EU's public health commissioner, John Dalli, said the EU executive is only guided by science in approving genetically modified organisms, which is an issue of fierce debate in Europe. "Responsible innovation will be my guiding principle when dealing with innovative technologies," he said. There were no scientific reasons to delay the approvals, he said. The first approval request for the Amflora dates back to 2003. Dalli said the potato will produce starch for paper production to help save "raw materials, energy, water and oil-based chemicals". Amflora and the three genetically modified maize varieties had already been approved by the European Food Safety Authority.