Australia-New Zealand

Fsanz calls for opinions on GM potato that produces less acrylamide

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Potato

Fsanz calls for opinions on GM potato that produces less acrylamide
The antipodean food regulator has begun public consultation as it reviews whether to allow a potato that has been genetically modified to reduce bruising. 

The Innate potato, produced by Simplot, has also been engineered to produce less of the chemical acrylamide, which has been linked to cancer in laboratory animals, when it is cooked.  

Simplot is one of the largest privately held food and agribusiness companies in America.

Steve McCutcheon, chief executive of Fsanz, said the potato had been modified by inserting genetic sequences from the potato in question and other wild potato varieties.

Authorities in America and Canada have already given the green light to sell the modified russet burbank potatoes, which “are not materially different in composition, safety, and other relevant parameters, from any other potato or potato-derived food or feed currently on the market​,” Simplot said.

Acrylamide is a chemical that can form when certain starchy foods, like potatoes, are cooked or processed​,” McCutcheon said. 

Bruising of potatoes during processing and production can lead to food waste and economic consequences for growers​.”

Food safety officials had not identified any health and safety concerns in their assessment of the potato, he added. The public has been given until September 30 to offer their views.

All Fsanz decisions on applications are notified to ministers responsible for food regulation who then decide to adopt, amend, or reject standards. Alternatively, they can ask for a review.

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