USDA to approve genetically engineered potato

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a potato genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine and that still damages crops.

Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co. says that the Russet Burbank can also be stored at colder temperatures longer to reduce food waste.

The potato is the second generation of Simplot's Innate potatoes and also includes the first generation's reduced bruising and a greater reduction in a chemical produced at high temperatures that some studies have shown can cause cancer.

The Food and Drug Administration in March approved the first generation potato as safe for consumers.

Company officials say about 400 acres of those potatoes were marketed as White Russets last summer and sold out in grocery stores in the Midwest and Southeast.