Health Canada, CFIA approve genetically engineered potato with reduced browning

TORONTO — Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have approved a genetically engineered potato for sale, said a U.S.-based company on Monday in announcing that its non-browning spuds could be in Canadian supermarkets by Thanksgiving.

J.R. Simplot Company was notified by both agencies in letters dated March 18 that it could sell its potatoes — which purportedly are less likely to bruise or turn brown when cut — to consumers or for livestock consumption.

Simplot, based in Boise, Idaho, says the Innate potato has the same nutritional composition of regular potatoes plus reduced asparagine. This amino acid found in many starchy foods produces acrylamide, suspected to be a human carcinogen. Potatoes naturally produce the chemical when they’re cooked at high temperatures above 120 C (250 F).

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