(Natural News) Maine just became the last state in the nation to approve the use of three new types of genetically modified (GM) potatoes – the Innate Generation 2 Russet Burbank, the Ranger Russet and the Atlantic potato varieties. The Maine Board of Pesticides Control approved the new potatoes, which were developed by the Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co., in early May. The company claims that the addition of wild potato genes will make these new varieties more resistant to late blight, as well as reducing bruising and enhancing their cold storage capacity.
The potatoes have been in the development phase for over a decade, and both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) gave the franken-potatoes their stamps of approval last year.
The developers were quick to distance themselves from other genetically modified varieties, particularly Monsanto’s NewLeaf transgenic potato, which was spliced with an insect repelling Bt gene, and was pulled from the market in 2001, after few farmers showed any appetite for its use.
Simplot’s potatoes have been developed using a different kind of technology. All three varieties are cisgenic, which means they contain only genes from other potatoes – a process which the company insists could have taken place naturally through routine cross-pollination.
Several national polls, including one by Pew Research Center in 2015, have found that Americans in general do not trust genetically modified foods. That particular poll found that 57 percent of the nation believe that GMO’s are actually unsafe to eat, while only 37 percent believe that they can safely be consumed. This is in spite of the fact that 88 percent of AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) scientists insist that they are “generally safe.” (Click to Article)