Bioengineered potatoes head to China

August 3, 2004, as reported by just-food.com: Increased demand for potato products, especially French fries has left China with a potato shortage. To deal with the scarcity Chinese farmers will have the option of a new bioengineered potato seed that grows vertically rather then horizontally.

The new seed, which will be provided by Canadian biotech firm, Penn Biotech, Inc, will save space and increase yield according to the company. Penn Biotech will ship 1.3 million pounds of bioengineered seed potatoes to China.

Penn Biotech says its seed potato could cut China’s potato growing cycle from three years to two and help satisfy the appetite of the world’s largest potato market. It expects to generate its first revenues in 2005, once the seed potatoes planted in three sites in China are deemed suitable for consumption.