McDonald s is the world s leading consumer of potatoes, purchasing about 3.4 billion pounds annually. In an attempt to try to pressure McDonald s not to use GE potatoes, the radical anti-biotech group Food & Water Watch circulated a petition and obtained 100,000 signatures urging the company to avoid GE potatoes. The potato in question was created by J.R. Simplot, the leading potato supplier to McDonald s. This petition comes on the heels of McDonald s decision not to use the genetically engineered Arctic apple in their food products.
In addition to this petition, Food & Water Watch also submitted about 40,000 comments to the USDA urging them not to approve the use of this potato. However, they fear now that the USDA may release their environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact (FONS) any day, which would discredit their argument against the GE potato and likely lead to its approval for marketing.
We at the ACSH have said many times that GE foods and ingredients are among the most thoroughly tested in the marketplace. ACSH s Ariel Savransky had this comment: it s irresponsible to assert that GMOs pose any danger to consumers or the environment since billions of tons of crops have been produced using GMO technology and harvested over the past 17 years, and still not a single case of adverse health or environmental effects from such farming practices have been documented. Modern biotechnology has greatly already improved the quality and quantity of food, and stands to do much more if scientifically-ignorant activists and hyper-precautionary regulators will get out of the way.
ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava adds It s especially ironic that Food and Water Watch is complaining about the Simplot potato, since it has been engineered to absorb less oil during frying which means fewer calories for consumers. So this group, which is supposedly trying to improve the food supply, just blew it!
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