May 16, 2017
Maine approves Simplot genetically engineered potatoes

The Maine Board of Pesticides Control unanimously approved the registration of three new types of genetically engineered potatoes from J.R. Simplot Co. The approval means Simplot’s Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet and Atlantic potatoes can be planted in Maine anytime, the Bangor Daily News reports. The three varieties are the second generation to be sold under the Innate brand.

Here’s more from the Bangor Daily News:

“According to information provided by the Simplot company, the Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet and Atlantic varieties of potato provide benefits to growers, processors and consumers that include reduced bruising, protection from late blight pathogens and enhanced cold storage capability.

‘It’s a different type of product,’ [Sharie Fitzpatrick, a senior biotech regulatory manager at Simplot] told the pesticide board members before they voted on accepting the potatoes. Maine is the last state in the country to approve the potatoes.

Cross-contamination, one problem with genetically engineered varieties of crops such as corn and canola, is unlikely to be an issue with the Simplot potatoes because of the way that potatoes are grown, according to staff at the Maine Board of Pesticides Control.”

The second generation of Innate potatoes recently received clearance from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food & Drug Administration.

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