A new modified corn and potato variety have been given the green light by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The department’s recent reviews analyzed the genetically modified plants to determine whether they present an increased pest risk as compared to unmodified plants.
The potato plant from J.R. Simplot Company was modified to make it resistant to potato late blight and potato virus Y. It was also modified to alter the potato tuber sugar profile and quality.
In both cases, APHIS found the corn and potato plants unlikely to pose an increased plant pest risk compared to other cultivated corn and potato plants. As a result, they are not subject to regulation under 7 CFR part 340. From a plant pest risk perspective, these plants may be safely grown and used in breeding in the United States, according to APHIS.
APHIS says its responses “are based on information from the developers and its familiarity with plant varieties, knowledge of the traits, and understanding of the modifications”.
You can view the RSR requests from Infinite Enzymes, Inc. and J.R. Simplot and APHIS’ response letters on the APHIS website.
Source: USDA/APHIS. APHIS news release here
Photo: Credit and courtesy J.R. Simplot Company