The potatoes were genetically modified to include a toxin - GNA lectin - found in snowdrops to make them resistant to potato aphids.
This precaution is necessary because wheatgerm contains lectin, which can potentially cause red blood cells to clump.
Pusztai and his coworkers created GM potatoes expressing a snowdrop lectin (GNA) to increase resistance to insects and nematodes.
Project researchers isolated and characterized two cDNAs encoding the lectin.
This is because kidney beans contain a natural toxin (called lectin) that can cause stomach aches and vomiting.