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Genetically engineered potatoes approved for Maine

The Maine Board of Pesticides Control unanimously approved on Friday, May 12 the registration of three new types of genetically engineered potatoes that have been developed by a major Idaho agribusiness company.

The means that J.R. Simplot Co.’s Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet and Atlantic potatoes could be planted in Maine fields at any time. By adding genes from a wild potato plant, these potatoes were created. These potato types are designed to be resistant to late blight, which remains a constant concern for potato farmers today.

Aware of concerns, Sharie Fitzpatrick, a senior biotech regulatory manager at Simplot, said the Innate potatoes have been in development for over a decade, and were ruled safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the fall of 2016 by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).


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