Vitamin-enhanced GMO potatoes could combat malnutrition—if they ever hit the market

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Sufferers of malnutrition in the global south could soon find help from an unlikely source: a humble potato, genetically tweaked to provide substantial doses of vitamins A and E, both crucial nutrients for health.

Dubbed the “golden potato,” boosted levels of provitamin A carotenoids — which are found naturally in carrots and sweet potatoes — give the new tuber its yellow-orange flesh, and are converted into vitamin A by digestive enzymes when eaten.

The potato, created in a lab in Italy and studied at Ohio State University, is the most recent staple crop to be genetically transformed into a colorful superfood, joining such creations as antioxidant-rich purple rice and beta-carotene-enhanced golden rice.

A single serving of the golden potato could provide up to 42 percent of a child’s recommended daily intake of vitamin A and 34 percent of their recommended vitamin E intake, according to a recent study….

“Universities and other research labs regularly put out press releases saying they have developed a GM crop that will help feed people,” [Glenn Davis Stone, a professor of anthropology and environmental studies at Washington University] told Seeker. “Lycopene-enhanced tomatoes, sorghum with more digestible protein, iron-enhanced cassava, vitamin-E-enriched canola, and so on.”

“The biotech industry has shown no interest in commercializing these crops,” he added. “These potatoes will never be commercialized.”

Read full, original post: This Nutritive Golden Potato Is the Latest GMO Superfood

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