3 GMO, Late-Blight-Resistant Potato Varieties Get EPA Approval

3 GMO, Late-Blight-Resistant Potato Varieties Get EPA Approval


Innate Gen 2 Atlantic potato compared to a Snowden FEATURE

An Innate Gen 2 Atlantic potato [left] compared to a Snowden. Photo courtesy of J.R. Simplot Company

The EPA and FDA have signed off on three new genetically modified (GMO) potato varieties from J.R. Simplot Company. The introduced genetic material is from wild potato varieties that are resistant to late blight.


The three new varieties, Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet, and Atlantic are part of the Innate Gen. 2 line from Simplot. The company touts the new varieties as less prone to bruising and black spot, containing less asparagine, having enhanced cold storage capability, and resistant to late blight pathogens.

The genetic material used to achieve late blight resistance comes from a wild South American potato species. Simplot believes the resistant varieties will reduce fungicide applications by up to 50%.

Simplot also says the new varieties’ reduced asparagine result in acrylamide accumulations being reduce by up to 90%. And lowered reducing sugars allow for cold storage at 38°F for more than six months without the build-up of sugars.

“The Innate Gen. 2 potato is the most significant advancement to date in fighting late blight disease in North America,” says David Douches, Ph.D., Professor and Director of Potato Breeding and Genetics Program at Michigan State University. “Since late blight disease impacts both organic and conventional potato crops on a commercial scale and must be treated with fungicides, Innate provides the opportunity for a significant reduction.”

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Connie Hayes says:

This is atrocious! It’s proof that we the American People are not in any way protected by the departments. Yet another reason to push for abolishing the EPA & FDA!

What is wrong with you? This reduces fungicide use and the risl of crop failure. In doing so it also reduces the chances of prices rising.

Catherine Geary says:

Please stop calling this GMO. If you persist, it will be rejected by the organic certification folks. It is NOT GMO, it is a simple hybrid, crossing a variety known for many good qualities with one with very high disease resistance that is NOT high in other qualities. It is much like the work Luther Burbank himself would be doing if he were living today.

Greg Johnson says:

Catherine, it is a GMO, (genetically modified organism). What you are referring to is GE (genetically engineered) produce. The difference is GMO can happen in nature (a horse and donkey breeding to produce a GMO, a mule. A GE crop, which you are referring to can only happen in a lab such as Round Up ready wheat and corn. This is a major problem as everyone is referring to GMO’s when they mean GE’s. Hybrids are genetically modified organisms, but not GE’s. Further research on your part may clear up the confusion, and I think over 90% of the population is confused.

Doug says:

Who where and when can grower get the Burbank seed for planting.

Southern Tier Farmer says:

Good job Simplot. This is an example of Gods gift to us in the area of science. We have those nasty diseases out there that cost us millions each year in sprays and crop loss. Now we have potato varieties that can stnd up against diseases like late blight. And Greg is right, on both the GMO vs GE and the reality that most of the population doesn’t have a clue about GMOs. We can thank the govt for that.