USDA opens its evaluation of another GE potato variety to the public

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, May 1, 2015- USDA moved another variety of genetically engineered potatoes developed by J.R. Simplot Company forward in its approval process, the agency announced today.

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The potato, a Russet Burbank variety, is genetically engineered for late blight resistance, reduced black spot bruising, and lowered reducing sugars. They are also engineered to produce less acrylamide, a potential carcinogen.

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) found that the product is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk to agricultural crops and other plants and plant products.

A draft environmental assessment (EA) and preliminary plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) of the product will be announced in the Federal Register next week and open to public comment for 30 days.

The draft PPRA was conducted to determine whether the potatoes are likely to pose a plant pest risk, and the draft EA evaluates the effects on the quality of the human environment that may result from deregulation.

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APHIS approved several other Simplot potato varieties, also known as “Innate” potatoes, in November last year.

Additionally, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration evaluated several of Simplot's Innate potato varieties and concluded they are as safe and nutritious as conventional counterparts.

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