McDonald's Shuns GMO Potato OK'd by FDA

Fast-food giant not lovin' JR Simplot's 'Innate' spud
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2014 9:07 AM CST
McDonald's Shuns GMO Potato OK'd by FDA
This 2013 photo shows genetically engineered potatoes growing inside a JR Simplot greenhouse in southwestern Idaho.   (AP Photo/John Miller)

A major Idaho potato producer has won some love from the FDA for its genetically modified spud, but don't look for the "Innate" potato in the deep fryers at McDonald's anytime soon. As the Idaho Statesman reports, the fast-food giant—a longtime major buyer of Boise-based JR Simplot Co.—is taking a pass. "McDonald's USA does not source GMO potatoes, nor do we have current plans to change our sourcing practices," it says in a statement. The Innate potato, which got the FDA OK earlier this month to begin planting commercially, contains fewer sugars and asparagine—which can convert to acrylamide, a carcinogen—than normal potatoes; it also bruises less easily, notes the AP.

It's not the first time a GMO spud hit the fast-food industry with a thud, notes the Statesman; Monsanto suffered a similar fate a decade ago with a bug-resistant potato it ultimately yanked over lack of demand. Meanwhile, Food & Water Watch calls the move a "major victory for consumers," with director Wenonah Hauter adding that "while we cannot speak to the rest of McDonald's practices, this decision marks a milestone in the movement to protect consumers from the potential dangers of GMO foods." Hauter urges Mickey Dee's competitors to likewise snub the Innate potato. (More JR Simplot stories.)

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