Up to now no GMO potatoes in Canada
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There will be no commercially grown GMO potatoes on Prince Edward Island this year, according to Simplot Plant Sciences, the company that developed the Innate potato. Innate potatoes bruise less and have fewer black spots than conventional potatoes.
Doug Cole, director of marketing and communications, said the company is delaying permission to grow Innate potatoes commercially in Canada until there's a proven market for them. "There is strong interest from the grower community and retailers are also interested. But because we're the only branded bio-tech item in the produce aisle it's an involved decision, so consumers don't want to take it without a lot of advisement and we certainly understand that and we'll be patient. When there's a market we'll be there," said Cole.
U.S. market growing
Over the last three years, the acreage in the United States has grown to 6,000 acres, and the potatoes are sold in about 4,000 supermarkets across 40 states. Simplot Plant Sciences has test plots in Ontario and Manitoba. Cole said the company expects the Gen2 potato, that is blight- resistant, will be approved by the CFIA and Health Canada by the end of this summer. That potato will require 50 per cent less pesticides, which he thinks will be of interest to both farmers and consumers.