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McDonald's rejects Simplot's new GM potato

GMO fries

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(NaturalNews) Let's face it, consuming foods from McDonald's not only conjures up ever-increasing waistlines, but also stirs up thoughts of less-than-desirable meal surprises.

For instance, there are a handful of stories about razor blades being found in sausage McMuffins or, as was the case for one woman in Illinois, making the discovery of a sharp blade nestled underneath her McDonald's eggs. Of course there are also reports that ground up chicken bones and carcasses make it into their McNuggets, despite statements from the restaurant chain that no such process takes place. The shocking experiences don't just revolve around customers, either.

A GM potato that resists browning and bruising? No thanks, says McDonald's

Even a former employee provided a day-in-the-life scenario that's bound to make stomachs churn. Of one of his experiences working at McDonald's, he says, "I accidentally left a whole bag of about 100 chicken nuggets out on a counter for way too long. They melted. Into a pool of liquid. I never understood why. But they were completely indiscernible as being the nuggets I once knew."

With such a long list of questionable food practices and ingredients, one would assume that McDonald's would be all over a new effort put forth by J.R. Simplot. Simplot, a mega player in the potato market who also happens to be main French fry supplier to the restaurant chain, has developed genetically modified potatoes that 1) resist unsightly browning and bruising without use of additives and 2) contain up to 75% less of the cancer-causing substance typically found in potatoes that are cooked at high temperatures.

Does the fast food giant want anything to do with these wonder potatoes? Not at all, according to a McDonald's spokesperson who says "McDonald's USA does not source GMO potatoes nor do we have current plans to change our sourcing practice."

That's right. Even McDonald's, with its history of fatty burgers, blades and bones is saying that enough is enough. They're turning down the more pleasing appearance of lily-white pre-cut spuds as well as the potential to gain even more customers in favor of their traditional potatoes and French fry-making methods, giving no consideration to Simplot's new development.

According the Simplot's website, creating such potatoes is possible due to their "Innate™ Technology," which they say is " . . . a biotechnology platform for improving crops, leading to new, better and healthier foods." One of their news releases explains that the technology " . . . precisely targets particular traits without introducing foreign genes." They also express happiness over the fact that the technology's ability to reduce potato bruising by up to 44 percent puts them on par with those seeking to fight the growing problem of discarded potato waste. "With less waste," the company says, "growers can plant on fewer acres and also reduce use of pesticides, power and fuel consumption, creating a ripple effect in their operations.

Cancerous potatoes: addressing the elephant in the room

While it's good that McDonald's is saying no to the Innate potato and maintaining their stance against GMOs, the Simplot technology raises another question that shifts minds back to the ways in which fast foods harm people's health. If Simplot's technology apparently reduces asparagine levels, a substance linked with causing cancer that's found in potatoes that are cooked at very high temperatures (think of fast food fryers), then it makes one wonder about the horrors french-fry lovers have been consuming all along. While less cancerous potatoes are a good thing, that fact that cancerous ones exist in the first place and that they've been eaten by billions throughout the years, is deeply unsettling.

The best bet is for people to stay far away from GM foods, no matter how deeply rooted in studies, USDA backing and cancer-reducing claims they seem to be. Individuals should also refrain from eating fast-foods, regardless of the food chain's stance on GM foods, because their iffy practices and nutritional standards do nothing in the way of optimizing health, and everything in the way of fattening corporate bank accounts.


(1) http://www.huffingtonpost.com

(2) http://www.huffingtonpost.com

(3) http://www.capitalpress.com

(4) http://www.simplotplantsciences.com

(5) http://www.simplotplantsciences.com

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