Cooking potatoes (and many foods) causes the Maillard reaction, an interaction of sugars and amino acids perhaps most familiar in the brown color of bread crust. In high enough doses (WAY beyond what we get from a normal diet) acrylamide is a suspected carcinogen.
So wouldn’t it be great if potatoes could be altered so that heating doesn’t produce acrylamide? That’s what the Simplot Innate potato does. Wow! A potato that doesn’t bruise, reducing food waste, and which, when cooked, doesn’t produce a carcinogen. That’s environmentalist heaven, right?
Not so fast. To create this seemingly healthier potato, biotechnologists add some genes from other potato varieties (the same way “natural” hybridization sometimes does, mixing genes from variants of the same species) to turn off a few genes in the Innate potato. And that is enough to turn on the opposition from anti-biotech groups, some of them the very same folks who a few years ago were sounding the alarm about acrylamide. The Center for Food Safety has attacked the Innate potato and others are applying many of the same psychological risk perception fear factors they employ to raise alarm about all agricultural biotechnology:
“It is unclear whether the observed reductions will lead to positive health outcomes, given that acrylamide is found in many other foods.”
Read full, original article: The Environmentally Friendly Potato Environmentalists Can’t Love