Simplot Innate® Potato Event Gen1-V11
In 2015, Health Canada received a submission to allow the sale of a genetically modified (GM) potato variety referred to as Simplot Innate® potato event Gen1-V11. This GM potato variety has lower levels of the amino acid asparagine, and lower levels of the sugars glucose and fructose, for the purpose of reducing the level of acrylamide that is formed in the potatoes when subjected to various forms of thermal processing (e.g. baking, frying, etc.). Additionally, this GM potato variety has lower expression of an enzyme that causes colouration of potato tissues when exposed to the air. This results in a lower occurrence of 'black spot' bruising in exposed potato tissues. This GM potato variety is very similar to four other GM potato varieties recently assessed by Health Canada (i.e. Simplot Innate® potato events Gen1-E12, Gen1-F10, Gen1-J3, and Gen1-J55).
Scientists with expertise in molecular biology, microbiology, toxicology, chemistry, and nutrition conducted a thorough analysis of the data and the protocols provided by the applicant to ensure the validity of the results.
Following this assessment, it was determined that the changes made to this GM potato variety do not pose a greater risk to human health than potato varieties currently available on the Canadian market. In addition, Health Canada also concluded that this GM potato variety would have no impact on allergies, and that there are no differences in the nutritional value of this GM potato variety compared to other traditional potato varieties available for consumption.
Health Canada's assessment of Simplot Innate® potato event Gen1-V11 was conducted according to the Guidelines for the Safety Assessment of Novel Foods. The approach taken by Health Canada in the safety assessment of GM foods is based upon scientific principles developed through expert international consultation over the last 20 years with agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The approach taken by Canada is currently applied by regulatory agencies around the world in countries such as the European Union, Australia/New Zealand, Japan, and the United States.
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