- The FDA has given the green light to a genetically modified potato from J.R. Simplot Co., the Russet Burbank Generation 2, which is the second generation of the company's Innate potatoes brand.
- The potato has been genetically altered to resist blight, which led to the Irish potato famine, and promotes reduced bruising. This variety also uses less of a chemical produced at high temperatures that has been linked to cancer, and it can reduce food waste by being stored at cold temperatures for longer.
- The USDA approved this GMO potato in August, but the product must still be approved by the EPA, which is anticipated to take place in December.
Simplot had already received approval for its first generation of Innate potatoes, grown mainly in Idaho and Wisconsin, and has placed them at retailers across the country. The company sold out its 2014 crop, and consumers are currently buying from the 2015 crop, which came to about 2,000 acres.
Companies both large and small are choosing to either label their GMO ingredients or remove them altogether and seeking non-GMO verification from third parties, as such a seal is not currently government sanctioned. Bulking the general trend last week, Campbell became the first major manufacturer to commit to labeling GMO ingredients in its products. The company also pledged to support national mandatory GMO labeling legislation.
Retailers have also joined in the push for non-GMO products, with Whole Foods committing to having all GMO products labeled in its U.S. and Canadian stores by 2018.