Monday, August 31, 2015

APHIS Approves GMO Potato

Written by Katharine Richter

On August 28, 2015, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) approved a request by J.R. Simplot Company “seeking a determination of nonregulated status of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) designated as Innate W8.” 

According to The Simplot Co. press release, the second generation Innate potatoes are genetically modified to provide four traits that are beneficial, which are “1) Reduced bruising and black spots; 2) Reduced asparagine; 3) resistance to Late Blight pathogens; and 4) Enhanced cold storage capability.”

During the public comment period regarding the request for deregulation, the concerns raised regarded potential cross contamination with conventional potatoes, trade issues due to “unwanted genetically engineered commodities in exports,” request for more research, and potential environmental and human health concerns.

 APHIS final environmental assessment and plant pest risk assessment based on all information received concluded “…Simplot’s Innate Potato designated as Russet Burbank event W8 is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk and therefore is no longer subject to our regulations governing the introduction of certain GE organisms.” 

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