New genetically modified potatoes Manufactured by J.R. Simplot Co. could end up in McDonald’s French fries
Millions of Americans who eat in fast food restaurants are so much in love with McDonald’s fries that they could almost taste French fries by just thinking about them. Like any other addiction (such as addiction to drugs, cigarettes or alcohol), people are addicted to salt, fat and sugar. Adding salt and sugar gives junk foods flavor and taste. They also trigger the center of the brain so people feel sudden pleasure after consuming sugary or salty snacks. The junk food industry designs the right combination of fat, salt and sugar in a way to confuse your brain into thinking that there are no calories in your favorite cheetoes or French fries and as a result people can’t stop eating them.
The junk food industry is taking the whole thing into a whole new level by genetically altering the genes of our foods. Potatoes are no longer potatoes:
The junk food industry has been changing the genes of foods like potatoes and has been adding toxic ingredients and additives like genetically modified high fructose corn syrup (made from GMO corn) into processed foods. As if white processed sugar wasn’t bad enough, other toxic sugar substitutes are genetically modified to be used in processed foods.
"Potatoes are anything but healthy," writes Wenonah Hauter, the executive director of Food and Water Watch, in a letter (signed by 102,000 people) to McDonald's CEO, Don Thompson. Altering the plant's genes, she writes, could unintentionally affect other characteristics of the potato, "with potentially unforeseen consequences for human health".
Food & Water Watch has been asking the giant fast food company McDonald’s (with a daily production of 9 million pounds of fries a day, every single year), not to purchase the new genetically altered potatoes manufactured by J.R. Simplot Co.
French fries are not a healthy food to begin with; but changing potato’s genes can affect various characteristics of the plant and lead to many unpredictable environmental and health issues:
As a matter of fact, just heat by itself can change the structure of foods and foods high in carbohydrate like potatoes produce acrylamide when they are cooked, roasted, grilled or fried in high temperatures.
Your favorite potato chips or fries (cooked or fried) above 250 F/120 C contains acrylamide and a bag of organic potato chips or fries has as much as acrylamide as the conventional ones. Acrylamide is a cancerous neurotoxic chemical found in plant-based foods like grains and potatoes and has been linked to ovarian and breast cancer.
The company, Simplot Co. has been selling French fries to McDonald’s since mid-1960s and its new variety of genetically modified fries is currently waiting for USDA approval. According to Simplot Company, its new GMO fries will reduce black bruising (a disease which causes a portion of each year's potato crops to go to waste) and will produce less of the chemical acrylamide when fried.
It was back in 1998, when Monsanto first introduced GE potato known as NewLeaf, in order to repel a pest called the Colorado potato beetle. Few years later, Monsanto had to give up its potato business because anti-GMO activists perused McDonald's, Frito-Lay and other suppliers including Simplot not to grow NewLeaf potatoes.
However, currently, Simplot Co.’s new GE fries is sitting and waiting on USDA’s queue for approval. According to Guardian, this time, McDonald's might be inclined to accept Simplot’s GE potatoes, supposedly because of its environmental and health benefits. Although McDonald's has declined an interview request, McDonald's spokeswoman told Guardian that McDonald's decision would be guided by "food, industry and regulatory experts" since there are other GE ingredients in McDonald's meals.
Are we that naive to believe Simplot’s promises on how its new GMO fries could deliver both health and environmental advantages?
“The genetically engineered potato is not adequately studied for human consumption, which is an FDA problem. For the USDA, we’re worried about what else it will do to the agricultural system,” says Patty Lovera, a spokesperson for the watchdog groups.
Other experts including the science policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety, Bill Freese are worried that new GE potato varieties could increase the level of toxins, lead to spread of new diseases, superpests and superweeds and cause other unpredictable health consequences that could come from silencing four native potato gene codes for enzymes.
After a decade of approving other GMO crops like alfalfa, sugar beets and GE corn, many health activists and independent scientists agree that GMOs have caused many health and environmental issues. In fact, Monsanto’s best selling herbicide “Roundup” has many warnings on its label (like you can’t breathe it, touch it or drink it) but it’s considered safe and it’s approved by FDA.
Also, since the introduction of GMOs, the uses of chemicals have increased by 500 million pounds. Monsanto’s crops are becoming resistant to Bacillus thuringiensis (or Bt toxin) and Glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup). As a matter of fact, Monsanto’s crops resistant to Bacillus thuringiensis (or Bt toxin) are increasing the number of insects resistant to this toxin and that’s creating a bigger problem for farmers like spread of superweeds and superpests: http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/superweeds-resistant-to-glyphosate-Roundup-Lucky-Charms-Tesco-GM-cereal-hyperactivity.php