USDA, FDA give go-ahead on Simplot's GE potato
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2016 - USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced Wednesday it will extend deregulation of the J.R. Simplot Company's Innate Potato to another Simplot genetically engineered (GE) potato with the same traits.
APHIS preliminarily extended deregulation of the J.R. Simplot Company's GE potato line to the “V11 potato” in early December. A GE organism and product is deregulated under the Plant Protection Act when APHIS determines it is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk. Once deregulated, the GE organism may be introduced into the U.S. without any further APHIS regulatory oversight, according to APHIS spokesman Andre Bell.
Simplot's GE potatoes are less susceptible to black spots and bruising and contain a lower content of reducing sugars - a type of carbohydrate that reacts with amino acids and changes the color or taste of foods - than non-GE potato varieties. They also have “low acrylamide potential.”
Acrylamide is produced in starchy foods when baked or fried, and some research - while incomplete, according to the National Institutes of Health - suggests it could be a potential carcinogen. Simplot's GE potatoes produce less of the amino acid asparagine, which is a precursor to acrylamide.
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Similar to the Innate Potato, the V11 potato is currently targeted for the potato processing industry, producers and potato consumers, according to APHIS.
On its website, Simplot said it was “pleased that the USDA has deregulated the Russet Burbank variety of the second generation of Innate potatoes."
Shortly after APHIS' announcement, Simplot announced FDA had completed its own assessment of the Russet Burbank Generation 2 potatoes and found they were “not materially different in composition, safety, and other relevant parameters, from any other potato or potato-derived food or feed currently on the market.”
Now, Simplot only needs to complete its registration with the EPA before introducing these potatoes for sale in the U.S. marketplace. The company pledged there would be “no promotion, distribution or sale of these potatoes” until properly registered by the EPA.
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