The dairy industry reportedly lost nearly $420 million from one single foundation bull with a lethal gene mutation that causes calves to die in the womb. This is a peril in selective breeding. On the positive side, that same foundation bull with nearly 2 million great-grandaughters accounts for 14 percent of all DNA in Holstein cows, the most popular breed in the dairy industry and contributed to $30 billion in increased milk production over the past 35 years.

And on Friday, the Department of Agriculture approved two types of potatoes that are genetically engineered to resist late blight, the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine. They are the second generation of Simplot’s Innate Potato from the Ranger Russet and Atlantic varieties and were created to have less black spots and bruising, better storing capacity. The potatoes still need to pass a voluntary review process through the FDA and also be approved by the EPA. The potatoes are expected to be on the market next Spring.

More From News Talk KIT