Sustainable Potato That Resists Blight Given Green Light by USDA, but Anti-GMO Activists Remain Opposed

— Written By

Jon Entine | August 30, 2015

You’ve undoubtedly heard of the Irish Potato Famine. Also known as the Great Famine, it was a period the late 1840s and early 1850s in Ireland of disease and starvation.By the early 1840s, the Irish rural poor and much of the rest of the country’s economically depressed population had come to depend heavily on the potato for their diet. But in 1845, the late blight caused by the water mold Phytophthora infestans appeared, destroying the edible roots of the potato plant. Much of that year’s potato crop rotted in the fields. This partial crop failure was followed by more devastating failures in 1846–49, as each year’s potato crop was almost completely ruined by the blight.

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Written By

Photo of Dr. Keith EdmistenDr. Keith EdmistenProfessor of Crop Science & Extension Cotton Specialist (919) 515-4069 keith_edmisten@ncsu.eduCrop and Soil Sciences - NC State University
Posted on Aug 31, 2015
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