EPA, USDA approves three types of genetically engineered potatoes; Simplot gets go-ahead to plant

Posted at 10:25 AM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 12:25:22-05

U.S. officials say three types of potatoes genetically- engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine are safe for the environment and safe to eat.

The approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late last week gives Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Company permission to plant the potatoes this spring and sell them in the fall.

The company says the potatoes contain a potato gene resistant to late blight.

Late blight is pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine.

Fungicides have been used for decades to prevent the blight.

The genetically-engineered potatoes will require half of the fungicide normally used by potato farmers.

The company says the potatoes also have reduced bruising and black spots and enhanced storage capacity.

(from Associated Press)