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 less black spots than conventional potato.
Doug Cole, director of marketing and communications, said the company is holding off allowing commercial growth of Innate potatoes in Canada until there’s a proven market for them.
“There is strong interest from the grower community and retailers are also interested. But it’s a very involved purchase decision,” said Cole.
“Because we’re the only branded bio-tech item in the produce aisle it’s an involved decision, right, and so they 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.”
He said there are about five acres of test plots on P.E.I. this year.
U.S. market growing
Cole added 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 company’s 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 both farmers and consumers will be interested in.