Researchers: ‘Organic farming should embrace blight–resistant genetically engineered potato’

According to researchers Godelieve Gheysen and René Custers in Belgium, the EU regulation on organic farming does not allow the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). “Why obstruct a cisgenic potato crop that can hardly be distinguished from a potato crop that is the result of conventional breeding?,” the scientists ask in a recently published research paper. “Among the reasons why[Read[Read More…]

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Videos: Spudman Grower Profile – CSS Farms’ CEO

Milt Carter, CSS Farms CEO in the US, discusses the genesis and growth of CSS Farms during the past 31 years…. watch. He further discusses growing bio-engineered Innate potato seed for Simplot…. watch. And Carter also shares details about his philosophy of growing whole seed and narrower seed bed widths…. watch. You are unauthorized to view this page.

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US: First field trials of Calyxt GMO potato variety completed

Calyxt, Inc., a Minnesota-based company, announced that it has completed the first field trials of its cold-storable potato in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. The USDA has recently advised the potato’s developer, Calyxt, that the cultivar is not a “regulated article” under federal law since it doesn’t contain genes from plant pests. Because most commercial biotech crops incorporate genes from plant pests, these potatoes[Read[Read More…]

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US: New GMO potatoes approved, controversy continues

USDA approved commercial planting of two types of GMO potatoes which resist late blight resistance. The approval covers J.R. Simplot Co.’s Ranger Russet and Atlantic varieties of the company’s second generation of Innate potatoes. The new version will also reduce bruising and black spots, enhance storage capacity, and reduce the amount of a potential carcinogen created when cooked at high[Read[Read More…]

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Will new GMO potatoes really require fewer pesticides?

Consumers seeking to satisfy their salty snack cravings sans genetically modified ingredients may soon have to get savvier about scouting out chips and other products made without the use of GMO potatoes. This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture formally approved two new types of genetically engineered potatoes, both of which were developed by Simplot, the Idaho-based spud giant. (A[Read[Read More…]

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US: Calyxt’s bruise-resistant, non-browning GMO potato variety cleared for sale

The USDA has advised the potato’s developer, Calyxt, the cultivar is not a “regulated article” under federal law because it doesn’t contain genes from plant pests. Because most commercial biotech crops incorporate genes from plant pests, they were subject to environmental analysis and a risk assessment from USDA before they were deregulated. In the case of Calyxt’s “PPO_KO” potato, the variety was[Read[Read More…]

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USDA clears Calyxt potato modified to withstand bruising

A new potato variety that’s genetically modified to withstand bruising has been cleared for commercialization without undergoing USDA’s deregulatory process for biotech crops. The agency has advised the potato’s developer, Calyxt, the cultivar is not a “regulated article” under federal law because it doesn’t contain genes from plant pests. Because most commercial biotech crops incorporate genes from plant pests, they[Read[Read More…]

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Australia, New Zealand: Food standards watchdog calls for opinions on Simplot’s GM potato

The food regulator Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (Fsanz) has begun public consultation as it reviews whether to allow a potato that has been genetically modified to reduce bruising. The Innate potato, produced by Simplot, has also been engineered to produce less of the chemical acrylamide, which has been linked to cancer in laboratory animals, when it is cooked.[Read[Read More…]

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Genetic improvement provides opportunities for potatoes

The potato is an important crop for Latin America and especially for South America, where it originated. Genetically improving potatoes can be a way to produce varieties that are resistant to pests and climate change, said Arnulfo Gutierrez, an expert on potatoes and a Panamanian official. There are no modified potato varieties in the region yet, said the specialist who chaired[Read[Read More…]

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Study reveals true cost of developing GMO potatoes

A recent study has revealed that the cost of developing GM potato varieties is in fact not that much more than for conventionally-bred varieties. The study published in the International Journal of Biotechnology demystifies the belief that releasing a GM crop costs tens, if not hundreds, of millions of U.S. dollars. The study assessed the cost and time of developing a[Read[Read More…]

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Olympic athletes enjoy McDonald’s almost as much as medals

So it turns out Olympic athletes love Big Macs almost as much as they love medals. There’s a McDonald’s handing out free food to athletes at the Olympic Village in Rio, and it’s become one of the most popular stops in all of Brazil. The Washington Post paid a visit to this neon oasis, and the findings were interesting, to say[Read[Read More…]

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US: Interview with John Keeling, National Potato Council

This week’s guest on Open Mic is John Keeling, Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Potato Council. In many ways, the nation’s potato growers opposed the biotech disclosure bill recently signed into law by President Obama. John Keeling voices grower concern over the country’s shift in labeling philosophy and ideas on future litigation and legislation on food labels.[Read[Read More…]

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US: Yes or no GMO? Local food companies talk biotech

Treasure Valley companies continue to focus on food production and point out the benefits of biotechnology in a national polarized and political environment surrounding genetically modified, or GMO, foods. “Consumers have said they want healthier products with fewer pesticides, and they want a better overall quality so they can save money and have assurance they can serve a healthier product to[Read[Read More…]

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Canada: Foes of GMOs call for stricter store labelling

With three new genetically engineered foods given the green light to be sold in grocery stores in Canada, opponents of the technology are increasing their demands the products be clearly labelled. “Now is the perfect time to do this so Canadians know exactly what they are eating,” said Lucy Sharratt, coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, a national coalition of[Read[Read More…]

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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[Read[Read More…]

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Potato, sugar leaders laud GMO labeling bill

Leaders of the potato and sugar beet industries say they consider a bill that passed Congress requiring labels on food containing genetically modified organisms to be a good compromise. The House of Representatives approved the bill July 14 by a 306-117 vote and sent it to the White House. President Barrack Obama has indicated he intends to sign the legislation,[Read[Read More…]

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The Sainsbury Laboratory prepares for blight-resistant GM potato trial

After gaining government consent to field-test a genetically-modified potato, Norwich-based scientists are seeking to prove the agricultural benefits 
of GM technology – and win public approval from those who still doubt it. The subject of genetically-modified (GM) crops – and whether their commercial cultivation should be allowed in the UK – has polarised opinions for many years. And scientific reports in recent[Read[Read More…]

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Biotechnology can enhance post-harvest quality

I recently toured several supermarkets to see how the stored potato crop was looking in retail displays. The first thing I noticed was the organic potato sprouts, ranging from peepers in russets to inch-long sprouts in some fingerling potatoes. That’s not an indictment of the organic industry. It’s just a fact that it is difficult to store organic potatoes as long as[Read[Read More…]

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Uganda’s new, improved disease-resistant gmo potato variety

A new improved type of potato has been developed at the Kachwekano Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (KaZARDI) of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) near Kabale. The disease-resistant Irish potato variety was produced via biotechnology and is said to be able to ensure high yields for food security and income generation. KZARDI director, Dr Alex Barekye and the project investigator,[Read[Read More…]

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UK: GMO potato approved for field trials

The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norfolk has been given the green light by Defra to conduct a series of GM potato field trials. The laboratory will conduct field trials of GM potato crops on a designated trial site at the Norwich Research Park between 2016 and 2019. The trials are part of a project to develop a Maris Piper potato that is blight[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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