US approves two types of genetically engineered potatoes

This 2013 photo taken at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., and supplied by J.R. Simplot Company shows wilted conventional potato plants without resistance to the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine on the left next to surviving rows of J.R. Simplot Co.'s genetically engineered potato plants that resist the disease. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, that it has approved commercial planting of two types of potatoes that are genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine. (Nicolas Champouret/J.R. Simplot Company via AP)
This 2013 photo taken at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., and supplied by J.R. Simplot Company shows wilted conventional potato plants without resistance to the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine on the left next to surviving rows of J.R. Simplot Co.'s genetically engineered potato plants that resist the disease. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, that it has approved commercial planting of two types of potatoes that are genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine. (Nicolas Champouret/J.R. Simplot Company via AP)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved commercial planting of two types of potatoes that are genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine.

The approval announced Friday covers Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co.’s Ranger Russet and Atlantic varieties of the company’s second generation of Innate potatoes.

The company says the potatoes will also have reduced bruising and black spots, enhanced storage capacity, and a reduced amount of a chemical created when potatoes are cooked at high temperatures that’s a potential carcinogen.

The potatoes next must clear a voluntary review process through the Food and Drug Administration as well as get the OK from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The company says it expects those approvals in January with the potatoes entering the market by spring.

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