FDA OK's genetically engineered potato

Boise - The Food and Drug Administration says a potato genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine is as safe as any other potato on the market.

In a letter on Tuesday to Idaho-based JR Simplot, the FDA says the potato isn't substantially different in composition or safety from other products already on the market, and it doesn't raise any issues that would require the agency to do more stringent premarket vetting.

The company says the potato must next be cleared by the US Environmental Protection Agency before it can be marketed to consumers. That's expected to happen in December.

The Russet Burbank Generation 2 is the second generation of Simplot's "Innate" brand potatoes. It includes the first version's reduced bruising, but less of a chemical produced at high temperatures that some studies have shown can cause cancer.

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