G2 Innate Receives Canadian Clearance

Published online: Aug 11, 2017 Articles
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Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have completed their food, feed and environmental safety assessments of the second generation of Simplot’s Innate potatoes. The authorizations enable the potatoes to be imported, planted and sold in Canada, complementing the three varieties of first-generation Innate potatoes that received regulatory approval last year.

Health Canada conducted a comprehensive safety assessment and approved the use of second-generation Innate potatoes for food. In addition, CFIA determined that these potatoes are “as safe and nutritious as traditional potatoes” for use as livestock feed, and that the potatoes do not present increased risk to the environment when compared to currently cultivated potato varieties in Canada.

The second generation of Innate potatoes contains four beneficial traits of relevance to potato growers, processors and consumers:

  • Protection against the late blight pathogen;
  • Reduced bruising and black spot;
  • Reduced asparagine, which contributes to reduced acrylamide in cooked potatoes; and
  • Lower reducing sugars, which further contributes to reduced acrylamide while enhancing cold storage capability.

These traits were achieved using genes from wild and cultivated potatoes to adapt the standard Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet and Atlantic varieties.

Innate’s late blight protection trait can convey up to a 50 percent reduction in annual fungicide applications typically used to control late blight disease. This disease was a contributing cause of the Irish Potato Famine in the mid-19th century and remains a major constraint for production and storage. Furthermore, research shows that second-generation Innate potatoes help reduce waste associated with bruise, blight and storage losses by reducing waste at multiple stages of the value chain, including in the field, during storage and processing, and in foodservice. That research suggests that these traits will translate to less land, water and pesticide application to produce these potatoes.

Lower asparagine and reducing sugars mean that accumulation levels of acrylamide can be reduced by up to 90 percent more when these potatoes are cooked at high temperatures. In addition, lower reducing sugars enable cold storage at 3.3 degrees Celsius (? 38 degrees Fahrenheit) for more than six months without significant degradation in quality.

According to academic estimates, if all fresh potatoes in Canada had Innate Generation 2 traits, potato waste (in-field, during storage, packing, retail and foodservice for fresh potatoes) could be reduced by 102,500 tons. In addition, carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by about 31 million pounds, water usage reduced by 3.4 billion gallons, and a total of 384,500 fewer pesticide acre-applications would be needed.

“This is a big technology advancement for the Canadian potato industry,” says Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada. “As long as proper stewardship guidelines are followed, Innate biotechnology provides growers a promising option to significantly reduce waste, chemicals and pesticides.”

“We’re excited to offer the latest generation of Innate potatoes to the Canadian marketplace,” says Susan Collinge, vice president of Simplot Plant Sciences, a division of the J.R. Simplot Company. “Innate second-generation potatoes offer important benefits while staying within the potato genome to create a quality crop.”


Source: J.R. Simplot Company