In a recently published article by Nat Graham, a doctoral candidate in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri Columbia, the author sheds some light on how genetic modification is being used in potato growing operations across the US.
In the extensive article, published by GMOanswers.com, Graham responds to several typical questions related to genetically modified potatoes. One of the questions asked is “When we talk about GM potatoes, what is genetically modified about them?” Graham responds: When most people think about genetic modification, they assume that the product has been engineered to produce something new, but in the case of GM potatoes it’s actually the opposite. In this case, the plant has been engineered to actually make less of something that it is already producing. Using a technology called RNAi, scientists are able to tell the plant to stop making substances that can lead to undesirable traits.”
He says the only GM potato you can currently purchase in the US is known as the White Russet potato, and it has been engineered by potato pioneer, J.R. Simplot Company, to have two new traits.
The J. R. Simplot Company reviewed the article for accuracy.