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Innate first generation potato receives Canadian government clearance

Mar 21, 2016

BOISE – Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have completed their respective food and feed safety assessments of the J.R. Simplot Company’s first generation of Innate® potatoes. Health Canada concluded that it had no objection to the sale of food derived from our Innate® potatoes. This means Simplot’s Innate® Gen. 1 potatoes can be sold in the Canadian marketplace beginning in 2016. Last year, the lower asparagine potatoes received corresponding regulatory approvals in the United States and have been grown and sold in the U.S. fresh market under the White Russet™ brand.

In addition, CFIA determined that these potatoes are “as safe and as nutritious as traditional potato varieties” 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.

Simplot’s Innate® Gen. 1 potatoes have two benefits relevant to potato growers, processors and consumers: reduced potato bruising and black spots, and reduced asparagine which leads to less acrylamide when the potatoes are cooked at high temperatures. These benefits were achieved by adapting genes from wild and cultivated potatoes to improve Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet, and Atlantic potato varieties.

Simplot research demonstrates that the Innate® bruise reduction trait can result in up to 44 percent less bruising, and reduce black spots and browning. The reduction in asparagine means that accumulation levels of acrylamide can be reduced from 52-69 percent when these potatoes are cooked at high temperatures.

If all fresh Russet potatoes in Canada had Innate® Gen. 1 traits, academics estimate that potato waste (in-field, during storage, packing, retail and foodservice for fresh potatoes) could be reduced by 40 million kilograms. In addition, CO2 emissions could be reduced by 5.9 million kilograms, water usage reduced by 5.6 Billion liters, and a total of 15,000 fewer pesticide hectare-applications would be needed.

“We’re excited to offer these beneficial potatoes to the Canadian marketplace,” said Haven Baker, vice president and general manager of Simplot Plant Sciences, a division of the J.R. Simplot Company. “Innate potatoes reduce waste, enabling growers to be more efficient while giving consumers the opportunity to use more of what they pay for.”

About Simplot

The J.R. Simplot Company, a privately held agribusiness firm headquartered in Boise, Idaho, has an integrated portfolio that includes phosphate mining, fertilizer manufacturing, farming, ranching and cattle production, food processing, food brands, and other enterprises related to agriculture. Simplot’s major operations are located in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, and China, with products marketed in more than 40 countries worldwide. The company’s mission statement is Bringing Earth’s Resources to Life.

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