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Organic Consumers Association

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GMO Potatoes Are Here - How to Avoid Them

The genetically modified Innate potato was approved by the USDA in 2014. The “Innate” potato is a group of potato varieties that have had the same genetic alterations applied using a new form of genetic engineering known as RNA interference (RNAi). Five different potato varieties have been transformed, including the Ranger Russet, Russet Burbank, and Atlantic potatoes. Simplot also has two proprietary varieties. Simplot has designed the potato to reduce spotting, browning, and bruising by lowering certain enzymes and to reduce the amount of asparagine, a naturally occurring chemical that converts to acrylamide under heat, which is believed to be a cancer-causing carcinogen.

Simplot has also received approval for two other genetically modified (GMO) potato varieties which are resistant to late blight, the disease that caused the Irish potato famine. They also last longer in storage. As far as we know, the only GMO potatoes being sold for consumption are under the label “White Russet.” The Non-GMO Project is now classifying the Russet potato as “high risk.”

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