GMO potatoes: The risks to health
Dr Caius Rommens developed GMO potatoes, but subsequently renounced his work. He explains why we should be wary of the products he created
Dr Caius Rommens developed GMO potatoes for the Idaho-based agbiotech company Simplot. The chief genetic modification he introduced was to silence the potatoes’ melanin (PPO) gene.
This gene, when operative, causes potatoes to discolour when bruised. The GMO potatoes do not discolour when bruised. They have therefore been marketed as bruise-resistant and are being sold without GMO labels in the US and Canada under innocuous-sounding names like Innate, Hibernate, and White Russet.
After finding that “most GMO varieties were stunted, chlorotic, mutated, or sterile, and many of them died quickly, like prematurely-born babies”, Dr Rommens renounced his genetic engineering career and wrote a book about his experiences, Pandora’s Potatoes: The Worst GMOs.