McDonald's GMO Potatoes - J.R. Simplot Co. is a major supplier of french fries, hash browns and other potato products for restaurant chains, according to SBS News. The company just released a newly approved genetically modified potato, and McDonald's, one of their oldest business partners, is not welcoming the GMO potatoes.
"McDonald's USA does not source GMO potatoes, nor do we have current plans to change our sourcing practices," revealed a statement showing McDonald's GMO potatoes stance.
Apparently, the GMO potatoes had DNA altered by the company so that it produces less acrylamide - a chemical suspected to be a human carcinogen. Potatoes reportedly produce the chemical naturally when they are cooked at high temperatures.
The McDonald's-rejected GMO potatoes is also engineered to resist bruising, the Associated Press reports.
McDonald's has reportedly resisted GMO potatoes in the past. More than 10 years ago, Monsanto also introduced a bug-resistant "New Leaf" line of genetically modified potato. However, buyers, led by McDonald's GMO potatoes rejection, also discarded the spud. It was eventually pulled from production from lack of business.
Meanwhile, Doug Cole, Simplot's spokesman, did not address the company's plans to sell to the fast-food industry, or even the dehydrated potato industry. Both have reportedly been against growers planting the GMO potatoes. Cole however added that the fresh potato market would be embracing "Innate," despite the McDonald's GMO potatoes rejection.
Duane Grant, a Rupert potato grower, said he was told by buyers in the dehydrated potato industry not to plant the GMO potatoes. However, he is still hoping to catch willing buyers in order to plant the biotech potatoes and profit more with the GMO potatoes' reduced bruising.
Grant also said that consumers will also be more receptive to Simplot's potato than Monsanto's despite McDonald's GMO potatoes rejection because of Innate's benefits, not just to themselves, but also growers.
The solution for Simplot and for growers will be convincing the food industry now, Grant added. McDonald's GMO potatoes rejection is due to worry about consumer backlash, which may not trust the product.
"Brand equity is extremely important to quick-serve restaurants," said Grant. "They will avoid conflict whenever possible in order to protect equity of their brand name."
McDonald's GMO potatoes stance was first reported by the Capital Press, a Western agricultural news service.