Canada: Acreage low, stewardship high for GMO potatoes

This year’s Canadian acreage of J.R. Simplot’s genetically engineered Innate potato will be “very small” to non-existent, according to a company spokesperson. Kerwin Bradley, director of commercial innovation for Simplot, says the company’s marketing strategy for new varieties is based on customer polls and identification of marketing channels. “We don’t plant potatoes, or give seed to growers, until we know that there is a place for them to sell them, so how quickly that develops depends on how quickly we develop routes to market for those potatoes,” he says. “That way we ensure we keep the risk really low for everybody, especially the growers.” Any acres planted to Innate potato varieties will be in Eastern Canada, or potentially Manitoba, he says. Producers across Canada have been forewarned that growing biotech potatoes will present unique stewardship challenges. Full story by Julienne Isaacs