9 Dec 2014
USDA APHIS Approves Genetically Engineered Potato
Effective 10 November 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) determined that a genetically engineered (GE) potato developed for low acrylamide potential and reduced black spot bruising received a non-regulated status.
Notice of Determination of Non-Regulated Status[2, 3]
On 12 February 2013 the company that developed this potato voluntarily submitted the information to the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) for consultation approval. Upon consultation approval by the US FDA the product could be marketed in the US.
USDA APHIS reviewed the submitted information in regards to potato events E12, E24, F10, F37, J3, J55, J78, G11, H37 and H50, reviewed comments from the public and found no reason that this potato must be regulated any more. This means they approve the potato to be grown in the United States without restrictions from the USDA. In the review the USDA APHIS state that these GE potatoes have no significant differences compared to non-GE potatoes. With the following positive exceptions:
- They have a low potential for acrylamide formation, a reduction potential of 60-70% during high temperature cooking (e.g. frying). Since acrylamide is classified as a potential human carcinogen any reduction of this chemical will be beneficial to people.
- They show reduced black spot bruising, which will allow more potatoes to be marketed so less waste. As well animals will be exposed to increased levels of glutamine which should not be detrimental.
This is not the first GE potato approved in the US but most approvals were for insect and/or virus resistance. One approved GE potato has a reduction in starch content.
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