GMO Potatoes: Coming Soon to a McDonald’s Near You?



It’s been a decade since consumer outcry forced Monsanto to take its transgenic potatoes off the market.

Even fast food giant McDonald’s refused to sell them, telling its biggest U.S. potato supplier J. R. Simplot Co. to stop growing genetically modified (GM) potatoes over a decade ago.

A lot has changed in the years since.

Now Simplot has officially asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve five new varieties of genetically engineered potatoes, dubbed Innate™, which the company has invented. In addition to the U.S. market, Simplot is also seeking approval of its potato creation in Canada, Japan, Mexico and South Korea.

As each day passes, pure organic food is being overshadowed on plates across the nation and the world by science experiments with untold long-term potential dangers.

Simplot claims the potatoes are ‘unlikely to pose a plant pest risk’ and should therefore not require Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regulation. APHIS, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is the governmental body that issues permits for GM organism release. APHIS has officially posted Simplot’s potato petition for public comment until July 2nd, 2013 on the Federal Register.

Supporters of Simplot’s new GM potatoes claim they are supposed to be better than Monsanto’s version because Simplot’s potatoes aren’t transgenic — meaning Simplot hasn’t crossed genes from their potatoes with genes from other organisms the way Monsanto did.

This doesn’t do much to lessen many of the broader concerns for introducing yet another genetically engineered organism into the food supply. As Center for Food Safety Science Policy Analyst Bill Freese points out, these risky GM foods are already under-regulated by the FDA and USDA as it is:

“The biotech approach is to change the food on a genetic level in quite frankly risky ways with inadequate regulation to adapt a crop to an industrial food system that’s really unhealthy in so many ways.”

Simplot scientists ‘silenced’ unwanted traits in the potato’s genome to produce potatoes with less black spots and less of a natural but potentially carcinogenic substance acrylamide, something that forms during the high-temperature cooking of starchy foods. On the surface, that sounds advantageous, but the reality is that genetic engineering is a toss of the dice — and independent studies have shown GM foods pose risks to nearly every system in the body.

In Jeffrey Smith’s book Genetic Roulette, he points out that GM potatoes that produced their own insecticides fed to rats in studies exhibited immune system damage; inhibited brain, liver and testicle development; and precancerous cell growth in their digestive tracts.

While Simplot’s GM potatoes have not been modified to produce insecticide, Smith notes that the damage to these rats was likely not based on the fact that the potatoes produced the insecticide, but because of the process of genetic engineering itself.

When it comes to long-term health and the environmental risks of tinkering with nature, genetically engineered foods are still a wildcard because the truth is, no one really knows.

Here in the U.S., Americans spend $10 billion a year just on potato chips alone. The potato is a major food staple. Already approximately 90 percent or more of the nation’s corn, soybean, canola and cottonseed are genetically modified, along with a growing laundry list of fruits and veggies. Genetically engineered food is completely infiltrating average the American diet.

McDonald’s sells 9 million pounds of French fries to the world per day. That’s more than 3.29 billion pounds of fries sold every year.

According to the history books, Simplot shook hands with McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc back in 1967, striking a deal that Simplot would provide the fast food restaurant with its french fries. By 2005, half of all McDonald’s fries came from Simplot Co. Given than Simplot is the dominant McDonald’s French fry supplier, it makes sense that if approved, McDonald’s will serve Simplot’s GM potatoes to its customers.

This scenario is all the more likely because the former president of McDonald’s USA, Janice L. Fields, is currently sitting on Monsanto’s Board of Directors. Fields served two overlapping years at both companies. With Monsanto’s status as a world leader in GM food production, McDonald’s is closely linked to the biotech industry.

APHIS is currently considering not only Simplot’s potato, but a GM apple that doesn’t bruise and yet another new Monsanto variety of alfalfa. As each day passes, pure organic food is being overshadowed on plates across the nation and the world by science experiments with untold long-term potential dangers.

In a world where GM foods go undisclosed, this is one more major food staple consumers are sure to encounter unless they watch their every bite.

Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton
Aaron and Melissa created as an outlet to examine the news, place it in a broader context, uncover the deceptions, pierce through the fabric of illusions, grasp the underlying factors, know the real enemy, unshackle from the system, and begin to imagine the path towards taking back our lives, one step at a time, so that one day we might truly be free...


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  2. Zach

    September 16, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    Thanks for writing this! Dedicated truth-seekers like yourself seriously make a big difference. I appreciate you helping to bring issues like this to the light, I’ll be subscribing and looking forward to more like this :)

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  5. joe

    August 18, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    best immediate solution is to emigrate to a safer place which i s not a open skies lab

  6. Mike

    June 24, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    GMO is the way we are going to feed the starving world in the future. All this nut-job non-science propaganda is stifling progress of ensuring no children have to go without meals. It sickens me to listen to the nonsense of the uneducated few trying to manipulate the views of population.

    • grey

      June 28, 2013 at 10:02 AM

      Hey, Mike. are you trying to tell us that Monsanto is a charity organization that cares about the poor starving children of the world – instead of the giant, soul-less multi-national corporation that exists to make a profit for it’s shareholders? Monsanto can spin their actions any way they want, but they are still the most hated company in the world. No one wants to be a guinea pig for Monsanto’s science experiments.

    • Mike James

      October 27, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      The “nut jobs” are Monsanto and Simplot who are single-handedly putting the food supply at risk. You are the uneducated one.

    • Ronnie

      February 8, 2014 at 10:32 AM

      Mike, would this be the same science that in the past has proclaimed the virtues and benefits of so very many products and developments that we must start using only to a few years later explain they were not aware they would cause cancer and birth defects. Ooops! Thank you (not), but I will trust natural food development over FrankenScience.

  7. Anonymous

    June 24, 2013 at 11:26 PM


  8. Kathleen

    June 21, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    What’s with these idiot GMO producers? The public antipathy to GMO is headline news. And all they have to do to combat it is to hire an independent lab to perform safety testing. Who gives a damn what the potatoes taste like or whether they bruise? Consumers are worried about the LACK of human health safety testing. If potato growers can afford their own nationwide lobbying and marketing consortium (which they can), surely the can come up with the funds needed for some animal studies?? GMO producers’ continued silence on this topic looks, to most consumers, like an admission of guilt, and justifiably fuels consumuers’ suspicions.

    • ray cabarga

      March 16, 2014 at 2:43 AM

      You’re missing the point though Kathleen, no testing done by the company that’s trying to sell the thing being tested is trustworthy. Why would you believe them if they said it tested okay? They aren’t going to test it at all they are forced to! Not only that, no testing is adequate because A. it takes years to see the long term effects of these lab experiments, B. testing on rats won’t tell us about the subtle effects it could have on our brains or those of our offspring, and C. Every GMO we allow into our food supply is further scrambling the ecosystem that took millions of year to evolve. The only reason we can eat food that comes out of the ground on this planet is because we, by trial and error over vast periods of time, have adapted to assimilate nutrients from the plants that were here. It’s typical human arrogance taken to the point of pure insanity to think that we can start messing with it at a genetic level and, like magic, expect that we will mutate to be able to use these mutant foods. They are like kids with a chemistry set, they have no idea what they are unleashing on us, and what’s worse is they are not aiming to make better food they are aiming at making more profitable crops that can be stored longer and transported farther and contain thing that kill bugs! Bugs! Another important part of the delicate eco system! You think bugs aren’t here for a reason? People love to talk about mans purpose on the planet and how we’re so damn important, but what, other creatures aren’t? we’re the only creature on the planet that has a purpose? How arrogant, myopic, self-centered, shortsighted and just plain stupid can they be???

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  11. watch em

    May 29, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    look close this author is a monsanto goon. trying to quell the competition. brings up how this potato is engineered differently from the competitions then equates it to monsanto evil counterpart. though simplot’s methods aren’t as good as old fashioned cloning. these companies aren’t farmers anyway, they are profiteers!

  12. Steve

    May 27, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    Just watched the new Gary Null film, Seeds of Death. Smith and many others are featured. Much of the info is not news to the readers here, no doubt, though it is well worth watching. Especially of note are remarks by biologist Bruce Lipton, who indicates now the micro RNA are the elements (via epigenetic effects) which actually remain intact when food is consumed and actually pull the switches to express (or not express) the DNA in the proper manner. DNA is merely the protein factory and cannot turn itself on or off. That is done epigenetically. GMO food has entirely different micro RNA than real food. The results are expected. Lipton says we are facing an “extinction level” event here from mangled DNA expression anbd resultant disease and malfunctioninig. With all the lethal attacks we absorb from all angles, it would be interesting to see if this is the most lethal of them all. Surely the most subtle. Let me count all the ways we are being killed.

  13. Sam

    May 25, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Thank you very much for this article. It seems like they are going to bombard us with GMO products whether we like it or not. McDonalds is ubiquitous. Everyone will be eating this stuff and probably won’t even know it. More on GMO and vaccines please.

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