FDA deems GMO apples and potatoes safe for consumption

SILVER SPRING, Md.—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has completed its evaluation for two varieties of genetically engineered apples and six varieties of genetically engineered potatoes and concluded that those foods are as safe and nutritious as their conventional counterparts.

Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.’s Granny Smith and Golden Delicious varieties of apples, known by the trade name Arctic Apples, have been genetically engineered to resist browning associated with cuts and bruises.

J.R. Simplot Co.’s Ranger Russet, Russet Burbank and Atlantic potatoes are known by the name “Innate” and have been genetically engineered to reduce the formation of black spot bruises. They also are engineered to produce less acrylamide, a chemical that can form in some foods during high-temperature cooking such as frying and has been found to be carcinogenic in rodents.

The FDA found that the apples and potatoes were not materially different from their conventional counterparts, and the agency could not identify any safety or regulatory issues under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act that would require further evaluation.

“The new varieties of apples and potatoes will offer another choice to producers and consumers,” said Lindsay Reames, assistant director of governmental relations for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

Foods derived from genetically engineered plants must meet the same legal standards, including safety standards, as foods derived from traditional plant breeding methods. To help developers of foods derived from genetically engineered plants comply with their obligations under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and FDA regulations, the FDA encourages them to participate in a voluntary consultation process with the agency prior to commercial distribution.

Media: Contact Reames at 804-290-1019.

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