Economic and environmental benefits of biotech potatoes with traits for bruise resistance, late blight resistance, and cold storage
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In 2015 biotech potatoes re-entered the US market after a hiatus since 2001. The JR Simplot Company received regulatory approval for its Innate(TM) 1.0 potatoes that have traits for low acrylamide and resistance to bruising and discoloration. Simplot submitted for regulatory approval its Innate(TM) 2.0 potatoes that have the 1.0 traits plus late blight resistance and cold storage capability. This study estimates US benefits for three of the four Simplot traits, with the acrylamide trait not included. Estimates were constructed from US Department of Agriculture data, published research, and interviews with industry experts. Total economic benefits are estimated at $740 million annually. Grower production costs per cwt could go down 28%. Environmental benefits include a reduction of 2.5 million acre-applications of pesticides, 740 million fewer pounds of CO2 emitted, and 84 billion gallons less water used.