Breeding, GMO, Health/Nutrition/Food Safety, North America, Varieties

Increased nutritional value in genetically modified potato plant sparks USDA review

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently reviewed soybean, tomato, and potato plants modified using genetic engineering. In a news release, USDA says APHIS reviewed the plants to determine whether they presented an increased plant pest risk compared similar cultivated soybean, tomato, and potato plants. 

Ohalo Genetics modified a potato plant to produce an increased concentration of beta-carotene for altered nutritional value. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that can give an orange, yellow, or red color to carrots and other foods. 

You can view the Regulatory Status Review (RSR) requests from Ohalo Genetics and APHIS’ response letters at the link below. APHIS’ responses are based on information from the developers and its: 

  • familiarity with plant varieties,
  • knowledge of the traits, and
  • understanding of the modifications. 

Under 7 CFR part 340, developers may request an RSR when they believe a modified plant is not subject to regulation. APHIS reviews the modified plant and considers whether it might pose an increased plant pest risk compared to a nonregulated plant. If the review finds a plant is unlikely to pose an increased plant pest risk relative to the comparator plant, APHIS issues a response indicating the plant is not subject to the regulations. 

View the RSR Documents

Source: USDA

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