Canadian farmers poised to plant GM potatoes for first time

seed potatoes hero

In 2016, no acres in Canada were seeded to J.R. Simplot Company’s genetically engineered first-generation Innate potato lines. But industry experts say 2017 will be a different story.

“Other than plot-sized production, there was no commercial production in Canada [in 2016] because of the timing,” says Kevin MacIsaac, general manager at the United Potato Growers of Canada. “But farmers are interested and planning to plant [in 2017].”

The four potato varieties [are] Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet, Atlantic and Snowden….

Doug Cole, Simplot’s U.S. spokesperson, says Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) approvals came in the spring, too late for the company to make arrangements for seed and spring planting.

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“There are advantages that make these potatoes suited for Canada,” says Cole. “One is that they have less bruising and there would be significantly higher pack-outs in Canada—more Grade 1 potatoes for use in the fresh market.”

The second trait is lower acrylamide, a chemical compound linked to cancer…. Asparagine … is reduced in Simplot’s potatoes.

“Health Canada has been pretty stringent on identifying acrylamide in various starchy foods and recommending lowering it when possible, so our potatoes would meet that need as well,” says Cole.

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: GM potatoes are going in the ground

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