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USDA Approves the Next Generation Potato for Commercial Planting

November 11, 2014
A potato genetically engineered to reduce the amounts of a potentially harmful ingredient in French fries and potato chips has been approved for commercial planting, the Department of Agriculture announced on Friday.

Such publications as the New York Times, The Packer, and the Capital Press covered the recent announcement by the USDA to deregulate J.R. Simplot Company's Innate™ potatoes.  

Andy Pollack of the New York Times reported that the new potato resists browning and bruising which can occur during harvesting, shipping or storage and can be costly to growers and processors.  
"The potato is one of a new wave of genetically modified crops that aim to provide benefits to consumers, not just to farmers as the widely grown biotech crops like herbicide-tolerant soybeans and corn do. "

According to the Simplot Plant Sciences site this approval comes after a decade of scientific development, safety assessments and extensive field tests.
"Innate™ potatoes contain genes from wild and cultivated potatoes, grow naturally just like conventional potatoes, and introduce no new allergens.

"Innate™ potatoes have approximately 40% less bruise caused by impact and pressure during harvest and storage than conventional potatoes and have lower levels of asparagine.

"With full market penetration for its varieties sold in the U.S., Innate™ will reduce annual potato waste by an estimated 400 million lbs. in the food service and retail industries and a significant portion of the estimated 3 billion lbs. discarded by consumers. For these reasons, we believe Innate™ potatoes will be a more sustainable option when compared to their conventional varieties and will provide a healthy choice for consumers."

Click here to view a video on the technology behind the  Innate™ Potato.