GMO, Seed, Trends, Varieties

Simplot plans GMO-only seed potato farms

Officials with Simplot Plant Sciences said their company intends to eventually award contracts for propagating its Innate line of biotech potato seed exclusively to farmers willing to forgo raising conventional spuds. The planned move is among a host of precautions intended to aid in identity preservation of Innate, said Erik Gonring, Simplot Plant Sciences industry affairs manager, while offering a recent update on the technology to growers at the National Potato Council’s summer meeting. As Gonring noted, failure to keep biotech spuds segregated from conventional spuds caused market disruptions several years ago when Monsanto attempted to commercialize a biotech potato, called NewLeaf. Gonring said Simplot has strict operating procedures governing each stage of production — such as covering truck beds with tarps and using segregated storage. More

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