potatoes

J.R. Simplot Co.

A major Idaho agribusiness company is seeking federal approval to market a second genetically engineered potato. 

The J.R. Simplot Co. won approval for its first potato late last year. The Innate potato, as it’s branded, is due to be the first genetically engineered spud on the market -- a newcomer that just last month was the center of attention in a spot on comedy news program the Daily Show.

Simplot dubbed it “Innate” because the inserted genes come from other potatoes.

Thompson and Morgan

A Western Oregon mail order company has begun selling what might become the No. 1 conversation starter of Northwest garden parties this summer.

Idaho Potato Commission

Northwest potato farmers are cheering a small provision tucked into the newly passed federal spending package.

The Women, Infants, and Children or WIC program is the provider of modest monthly vouchers for a variety of foods. WIC will cover any vegetable, except for “white potatoes.”

That single exclusion outraged the potato industry. They felt it sent the wrong message and Northwest lawmakers from both parties got on board to reverse the rule.

jkbrooks85 / Flickr

A slowdown in operations at ports up and down the West Coast is choking off the flow of apples, Christmas trees, potatoes and other Northwest products to foreign markets. Exporters say the delays could have long-term consequences for Northwest agriculture if the problems aren’t resolved before the holidays.

In Washington, fruit shippers have reported sending refrigerated trucks full of apples from this year’s historic crop to the port of Seattle, only to have them sit there for days.

USDA

Northwest potato growers say they've been snubbed in a federal nutrition program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Friday finalized changes to the Women, Infants and Children program, or WIC . And it will cover all fruits and veggies … all but potatoes.

One of the country's leading suppliers of french fries is asking the federal government to approve genetically modified potatoes. The USDA announced the move Friday by the J.R. Simplot Company of Idaho. It would be the only genetically engineered potato on the market.

Simplot has branded them Innate potatoes. The company figured out how to use existing potato DNA to design a spud that’s less prone to dark spots. It also produces less acrylamide when cooked. Acrylamide is a neurotoxin found in many foods. Studies on animals have indicated it may also cause cancer.

It looks like Idaho is the victor in an international trademark dispute over its most famous product. Officials in Turkey blocked a move that would have allowed a Turkish company to stamp “IDAHO” on produce, including potatoes.

For the keepers of the Idaho brand name, it's a crisis averted.

According to records on the Turkish Patent Institute's website, the agency has rejected an application to trademark the word “IDAHO”. Idaho Gov. Butch Otter also received a letter from the Turkish ambassador saying as much.

Photo courtesy Idaho Potato Commission

You've heard of fake designer handbags and imitation Apple stores. Well, the state of Idaho is worried about knock-off potatoes. Idaho is trying to block a trademark on the word “IDAHO” in Turkey. The state sees it as a potentially costly threat. But as Jessica Robinson reports, controlling the global brand is no easy task.

S. Korea Lifts Ban On NW “Chipping” Potatoes

Oct 10, 2012

South Korea has lifted a two month old ban on Northwest potato exports - at least the ones used for potato chips. The move comes after growers agreed to take steps to insure they don’t ship potatoes infected with zebra chip disease.

South Korea Ban On Fresh Northwest Potatoes

Aug 16, 2012

Starting Friday, fresh potatoes from Idaho, Oregon and Washington can no longer be exported to South Korea. As Capital Press reported earlier this week, Korea’s export ban results from concerns over an insect-borne disease that causes light yellow potato flesh to darken and stripe — the zebra chip.

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