The use of GMO foods remains controversial. In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of growing and eating genetically modified organisms, including the effects on human health and the. Remember when Whole Foods promised consumers that by the end of 2018, all of its U.S. And Canada stores would require labels on any foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?About midway through 2018, Whole Foods reneged on that promise.Now, the retailer once known as a mecca for organic food shoppers is selling GMO potatoes—and those potatoes aren’t labeled.TAKE ACTION: Tell. Trial hyped as GMO success but shows no need for GM potato A new study has found that a popular non-GM potato performs as well as a new GM potato in resisting late blight. The study was carried out by a team of scientists from Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands and Teagasc (the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority.
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A genetically modified potato is a potato that has had its genes modified, using genetic engineering. Goals of modification include introducing pest resistance, tweaking the amounts of certain chemicals produced by the plant, and to prevent browning or bruising of the tubers. Varieties modified to produce large amounts of starches may be approved for industrial use only, not for food.
Currently marketed varieties
Used for food
The genetically modified Innate potato was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture in 2014 and the US FDA in 2015. The cultivar was developed by J. R. Simplot Company. It is designed to resist blackspot bruising, browning and to contain less of the amino acidasparagine that turns into acrylamide during the frying of potatoes. Acrylamide is a probable human carcinogen, so reduced levels of it in fried potato foods is desirable. The 'Innate' name comes from the fact that this variety does not contain any genetic material from other species (the genes used are 'innate' to potatoes) and uses RNA interference to switch off genes. Simplot hopes that not including genes from other species will assuage consumer fears about biotechnology.
The 'Innate' potato is not a single cultivar; rather, it is a group of potato varieties that have had the same genetic alterations applied using the same process. Five different potato varieties have been transformed, creating 'innate' versions of the varieties, with all of the original traits, plus the engineered ones. Ranger Russet, Russet Burbank, and Atlantic potatoes have all been transformed by Simplot, as well as two proprietary varieties. Modifications of each variety involved two transformations, one for each of the two new traits. Thus there was a total of ten transformation events in developing the different Innate varieties.
McDonald's is a major consumer of potatoes in the US. The Food and Water Watch has petitioned the company to reject the newly marketed Innate potatoes. McDonald's has announced that they have ruled out using Innate.
Previously marketed varieties
Used for food
In 1995, Monsanto introduced the NewLeaf variety of potato which was their first genetically modified crop. It was designed to resist attack from the Colorado potato beetle due to the insertion of Bt toxin producing genes from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. The insect-resistant potatoes found only a small market, and Monsanto discontinued the sale of seed in 2001.Seo basics for your website blog or online store shopping.
Used in industry
'Amflora' (also known as EH92-527-1) was a cultivar developed by BASF Plant Science for production of pure amylopectin starch for processing into waxy potato starch. It was approved for industrial applications in the European Union market on 2 March 2010 by the European Commission, but was withdrawn from the EU market in January 2012 due to a lack of acceptance from farmers and consumers.
A modified Désirée potato was developed in the 1990s by biochemistJohn Gatehouse at Cambridge Agricultural Genetics (later renamed Axis Genetics) and had gone through two years of field trials at Rothamsted Experimental Station. The potatoes were modified to express the Galanthus nivalis agglutinin (GNA) gene from the Galanthus (snowdrop) plant, which caused them to produce GNA lectin protein that is toxic to some insects. This variety of potatoes is the one which was involved in the Pusztai affair.
In 2014, a team of British scientists published a paper about three-year field trial showing that another genetically modified version of the Désirée cultivar can resist infection after exposure to late blight, one of the most serious diseases of potatoes. They developed this potato for blight resistance by inserting a gene (Rpi-vnt1.1), into the DNA of Désirée potatoes. This gene, which conferred the resistance to blight, was isolated from a wild relative of potatoes, Solanum venturii, which is a native of South America.
In 2017 scientists in Bangladesh developed their own variety of blight resistant GM potato.
- ^Tracy, Tennille (November 20, 2014). 'Genetically Modified Potato Wins Approval From USDA'. Wall Street Journal.
- ^'Introducing Innate™ Technology'. simplotplantsciences.com. J. R. Simplot Company. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- ^'J.R. Simplot Company Petition (13-022-01p) for Determination of Non-Regulated Status for InnateTM Potatoes with Low Acrylamide Potential and Reduced Black Spot Bruise: Events E12 and E24 (Russet Burbank); F10 and F37 (Ranger Russet); J3, J55, and J78 (Atlantic); G11 (G); H37 and H50 (H)'(PDF). aphis.usda.gov. United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. March 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- ^'FDA concludes Arctic Apples and Innate Potatoes are safe for consumption'. fda.gov. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. March 20, 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- ^ abPollack, Andrew (7 Nov 2014). 'U.S.D.A. Approves Modified Potato. Next Up: French Fry Fans'. nytimes.com. The New York Times Company HomeSearch. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- ^Glenza, Jessica (8 Nov 2014). ''Innate Potato' heads for market but GM watchdogs chip away at Simplot success'. theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- ^von Mogel, Karl Haro (8 May 2013). 'Q&A with Haven Baker on Simplot's Innate™ Potatoes'. biofortified.org. Biology Fortified, Inc. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- ^Charles, Dan (13 January 2015). 'GMO Potatoes Have Arrived. But Will Anyone Buy Them?'. npr.org. NPR. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
- ^Gunther, Marc (4 December 2013). 'McDonald's GMO dilemma: why fries are causing such a fuss'. theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- ^Kilman, Scott (21 March 2001). 'Monsanto's Genetically Modified Potatoes Find Slim Market, Despite Repelling Bugs'. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- ^'BASF drops GM potato projects'. Chemistry World. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- ^'GM potato to be grown in Europe'. The Guardian. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- ^James Kanter for the New York Times. January 16, 2012. BASF to Stop Selling Genetically Modified Products in Europe
- ^'Professor J.A. Gatehouse – Durham University'. Archived from the original on 2016-02-01. Retrieved 2015-04-26.
- ^Arpad Pusztai GM Food Safety: Scientific and Institutional Issues Science as Culture, Volume 11 Number 1 March 2002
- ^Ewen SW, Pusztai A (October 1999). 'Effect of diets containing genetically modified potatoes expressing Galanthus nivalis lectin on rat small intestine'. Lancet. 354 (9187): 1353–4. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(98)05860-7. PMID10533866. S2CID17252112.
- ^Murdock, L. L.; Shade, R. E. (2002). 'Lectins and Protease Inhibitors as Plant Defenses against Insects'. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 50 (22): 6605–6611. doi:10.1021/jf020192c. PMID12381159.
- ^McGrath, Matt (17 February 2014). 'Genetically modified potatoes 'resist late blight''. bbc.com. BBC. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
- ^Jones, J. D. G.; Witek, K.; Verweij, W.; Jupe, F.; Cooke, D.; Dorling, S.; Tomlinson, L.; Smoker, M.; Perkins, S.; Foster, S. (17 February 2014). 'Elevating crop disease resistance with cloned genes'. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 369 (1639): 20130087. doi:10.1098/rstb.2013.0087. PMC3928893. PMID24535396.
- ^Pieterse, Lukie (2017-01-06). 'Bangladesh: GM potato crop ready for release'. Potato News Today. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
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- Halterman, Dennis; Guenthner, Joe; Collinge, Susan; Butler, Nathaniel; Douches, David (19 November 2015). 'Biotech Potatoes in the 21st Century: 20 Years Since the First Biotech Potato'. American Journal of Potato Research. 93 (1): 1–20. doi:10.1007/s12230-015-9485-1.
- D. R. Rockhold, M. M. Maccree & W. R. Belknap (6 December 2012). '20. Transgenic Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.)'. Transgenic Crops II. Springer. pp. 305–324. ISBN978-3-642-56901-2.
GMO potatoes: the latest. As of May, 2017 there are at least 9 approved varieties of genetically engineered potatoes in the US. The GMO potato made it to #4 (out of 15) on our updated list of GMO foods.
The potato is a major staple in the Western diet and source of energy through carbohydrates. Indeed, potatoes are very popular, therefore patenting them through genetic modification is highly lucrative.
Genetically modified potatoes are engineered to withstand bruising, viruses, fungi, and bugs. GE potatoes are also expected to exhibit low levels of acrylomide – a carcinogenic toxin produced by cooking potatoes. (Source: www.innatepotatoes.com)
J.R. Simplot is one of the largest suppliers of potatoes in the US. J.R. Simplot’s new generation of GMO potatoes is expected to be more marketable. It’s called “Innate.” In the Summer of 2014 about 400 acres worth of Simplot Innate GMO potatoes sold at Midwest and Southeast grocery stores.
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Simplot aims to significantly increase it’s output of genetically engineered potatoes in 2017 by planting more than 6000 acres. These GMO potato varieties come from: Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet, Atlantic, and Snowden potato cultivars. (Source: USDA APHIS)
Genetically engineered potatoes don’t bruise or turn brown when cut, unlike non-gmo potatoes. GE potatoes will be marketed to grocery stores and restaurants due to their longer shelf life and “prettier” appearance. J.R. Simplot has been the main supplier of potatoes to McDonald’s. Even so, McDonald’s made a pledge that it won’t be buying Simplot’s Innate GMO potatoes.
Special Note: Potatoes, just like tomatoes are part of the Nightshade family. People who follow AIP (Autoimmune Protocol diet) or people with leaky gut tend to avoid members of the Nightshades, since they are thought to be irritating to the gut regardless of GMO status.
Different varieties of potatoes. Image credit: Scott Bauer, USDA ARS
- Buy certified organic potatoes. The surest way to avoid the GMO potato is to make sure your potatoes are organic. Organic farming specifically prohibits use of GMOs. The other benefit is that your potatoes won’t be grown in artificial chemical concoctions of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, bio-sludge, irradiation, and other unhealthy farming methods.
- Avoid non-organic processed food with potato ingredients. This includes frozen meals with potatoes, powdered potatoes (including mashed potato powders), canned soups with potatoes, potato chips, etc.
- Avoid Russet-looking potatoes when eating out. Unless the company or the food prep manager can tell you with 100% certainty that the potatoes they use are 100% non-gmo. This includes restaurants (big and small, fast and slow), deli departments, ready-made-meals at grocery and convenience stores, gas stations. The amount of Russet, Snowden, and Atlantic varieties of potatoes being GMO is increasing over time.
- Switch to sweet potatoes. If organic potatoes are not available or the non-gmo potato status cannot be verified, opt-in for the sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are healthy and delicious. Currently there is no GMO sweet potato on the market. There are several varieties of sweet potatoes. They can be identified by their color on the inside such as the purple “Okinawa,” the orange sweet potato, the yam, and the white sweet potato. Our personal favorites are the purple and the orange organic sweet potato.
- Switch to non-Russet potatoes. If organic potatoes or sweet potatoes are not available or the non-gmo potato status cannot be verified you can reduce your chances of bying GMO by getting potato varieties that haven’t been genetically modified. So, stay away from: Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet, Atlantic, and Snowden potato cultivars. These can be identified by light brown skin and off white inside.
- Switch to other sources of non-gmo carbs. Potatoes are carbs. Carbs are required by our bodies for energy production. Too much or too little carbs is not good. Other sources of non-gmo carbs, other than the sweet potatoes mentioned above include: rice, carrots, pumpkin, beans, pasta, bread (if made with non-gmo ingredients) etc. Basically any carb or starch that’s not on our list of GMO Foods.
- Grow your own! Gardening is fun, grounding, and connects us directly to what sustains us: our food, water, the Sun, nature. Potatoes are relatively easy to grow. There are techniques using barrels or large pots that allow you to really multiply the harvest substantially by adding more and more soil into the container as the potato grows. You can even go to a grocery store or farmers market to get your initial potato starters. Just make sure you start with fresh organic potatoes.
Organically grown Russet Burbanks potatoes. Please note: GMO version exists. Image credit: Steve Caruso
Blue Swede (non-gmo) purple potato variety. Image by Paebi