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).