Australia: Public Consultation on GM Potato Products
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) recently released a call for public comment on an application to approve food from two genetically modified potato lines. FSANZ CEO Mark Booth said the potato lines have been genetically modified to reduce browning (blackspot bruising), reduce acrylamide potential and disease resistance to foliar late blight.
“The applicant is seeking approval for food derived from GM potatoes. As the potatoes will be grown overseas, food will have already been processed into products such as potato starch or pre-cooked potato chips. Before any GM food can be sold as a food in Australia and New Zealand, it must undergo a safety assessment,” said Booth.
The safety assessment looks at a range of factors, including any allergy risks or other unintended changes as a result of the genetic modification to ensure it is safe.
“Our assessment found there are no potential public health and safety concerns with these potato lines. We consider food from these potato lines to be as safe for human consumption as food derived from conventional potato cultivars”, Booth said.
The period for comment closes on July 9, 2020, which is an extension from the regular consultation period, to give stakeholders more time to have their say in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.