USDA announced yesterday that it is extending deregulation to J.R. Simplot Company’s (Simplot) potato variety developed using genetic engineering, designated as Snowden Z6 (Z6 potato). The potato variety is engineered for late blight protection, lowered reducing sugars, low acrylamide potential and reduced black spot bruising.
USDA says in its deregulation notice that APHIS previously reviewed and deregulated these traits in another Simplot potato variety, referred to as Innate W8 Russet Burbank potato (W8 potato). APHIS reviewed Simplot’s extension request for its Z6 potato variety and prepared a Plant Pest Risk Similarity Assessment (PPRSA) and preliminary determination of nonregulated status, concluding Z6 potatoes are not more likely to pose a plant pest risk than the previously deregulated W8 potatoes. APHIS reached a Record of Categorical Exclusion Determination based on its similarity assessment.
APHIS made the PPRSA and preliminary determination available for a 30-day public review and comment period on June 25, 2020. After considering the public comments, APHIS has determined Z6 potato is unlikely to post a plant pest risk and is extending deregulation to the Z6 potato line.
A copy of the extension request and supporting documents can be found on the News page of the BRS website.