Simplot, one of the world’s biggest agribusinesses, has received USDA approval for Innate, a genetically-modified potato that produces fewer carcinogens when fried. Anti-GMO pressure groups are campaigning for the decision to be reversed.
“This approval comes after a decade of scientific development, safety assessments and extensive field tests,” said the Idaho-based Simplot, which annually processes about 3 billion pounds of potatoes.
The potatoes, which are also modified to bruise less easily and to not turn brown for many hours after being cut, underwent successful field trials in eight states – Florida, Indiana, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin – between 2009 and 2011.
Innate reportedly produces up to 75 percent less acrylamide, a substance that is suspected of contributing to cancer, when fried. The medical implications of the alterations have not been tested.