Simplot Seeks Federal Approval For Its Second Genetically Engineered Potato

May 7, 2015

Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Company is seeking federal approval to market a second genetically engineered potato.

Simplot won approval for its first modified potato late last year. The “Innate” potato, as it’s branded, is due to be the first genetically engineered spud on the market.

Simplot dubbed the genetically engineered potatoes “Innate” because the inserted genes come from other potatoes.

The new potato has even gotten attention from the Daily Show.

The new potato is engineered to be resistant to late blight disease, which was behind the Irish Potato Famine. Simplot spokesman Doug Cole says it also has less sugar build up during refrigeration.

“And that’s significant for farmers because when the potato is actually sold to a processor, they won’t turn dark brown or black,” Cole says.

Like the first Innate potato, this Russet Burbank is also engineered to be bruise resistant and produce less of a potentially harmful chemical when fried.

The USDA begins taking public comments on environmental and pest risk assessments this week.

Meanwhile, it’s still unknown how consumers will react to genetically engineered potatoes at all. The first generation Innate potato goes on sale in test markets this summer.

One major potato buyer, McDonalds, has already said it won’t buy genetically engineered spuds.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network