Over the past decade, there has been a lot of ‘negotiations’ as to mass production of genetically modified potatoes. And GMO has won the battle: the USDA has recently given the ‘green light’ to one of the worlds’ largest agribusinesses to create a GMO potato.
But! The misfortune with these GMO products is that they produce certain carcinogens when fried. Simplot [the company responsible for its future creation], will soon be putting these GMO potatoes on dinner plates all over the U. S. unless the decision is annulled.
So how will you know if your potato is genetically modified or not?
The Simplot’s GM creation will be engineered to produce 75% less of a known carcinogen, which normally forms when potatoes are heated. Only that isn’t all! These ‘super potatoes’ will also be modified to bruise less easily and not to turn brown for many hours after being sliced (see picture below).
The potatoes reportedly underwent ‘successful’ field trials in these eight states from 2009 to 2001: Indiana, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. Based on these trails, Simplot claims they are safe for our diet. “This approval comes after a decade of scientific development, safety assessments and extensive field tests,” said the Idaho-based Simplot, which annually processes about 3 billion pounds of potatoes.
On the one hand, the idea of creating a food, which is claimed to produce less of a carcinogenic chemical, is not a terrible one, but on the other hand, it all comes back to these 2 questions:
1. What implications will this man-made creation have on human health, the environment, and the ecosystem as a whole?
2. Will this GMO potato simply add to the already abundant negative effects GMOs have on the environment as a whole?
3. Will these potatoes lead to a further increase in the already 800 million pounds of pesticides sprayed on our food – pesticides which can’t be washed off?
“There are no bacteria or genes from other plants used, only DNA from the potatoes themselves,” Simplot reassures the public that the methods by which these potatoes are created aren’t nearly as ‘alarming’ or ‘aggressive’ as techniques used by other companies, such as Monsanto.
Even if this is a super advantage, we aren’t convinced as yet that tampering with Mother Nature in such a way is a good idea at all! Doug Gurian-Sherman, a plant pathologist and senior scientist at the Center for Food Safety, says: “We think this is a really premature approval of a technology that is not being adequately regulated.”
This organization says that the RNA interference technique used for Innate is untested, and said that one of the substances [suppressed by it] actually plays an important role in the chemical make-up of the potato and its natural ability to fight pests.
Where the GMO ‘Innate’ potatoes are likely to be served
Simplot plans to use the new genetically-modified creation to conquer the market from multiple points. First, for the public and restaurants alike the increased life of these potatoes will be a big sell. Second, the spuds will be sold as a healthier alternative to the conventional potato, and will also be supplied pre-cut to supermarkets and restaurants, due to the fact that they remain fresh-looking for longer.
For these touted benefits, the vast majority of restaurants across the U. S. will likely obtain their potatoes from Simplot. That is to say, JUST ABOUT EVERY POTATO DISH IN RESTAURANTS WILL BE MADE FROM GMO POTATOES! And this will likely be the case with supermarkets as well!
“This could be a game-changer for the industry!” Kerwin Bradley rubs his hands, Simplot’s director of commercialization.
The first place you can surely expect to find the Innate potatoes will be the mega fast food giant, McDonald’s. Simplot supplies more than half of McDonald’s potatoes in the U.S., and has been doing so for decades on row. So, now, on top of the low quality, harmful ingredient-riddled food found at McDonald’s, the ever-so-popular French fries will likely all be made from GMO potatoes!
The Food and Water Watch group is already sending a petition signed by over 100,000 people asking McDonald’s to ban all Innate potatoes, so you can sign it as well and share it of course.
How to avoid the new genetically modified potato
So what do you need to do to avoid these ‘creations?’ In addition to never eating food from McDonald’s and avoiding potato-based foods in restaurants, there are 3 primary ways you can avoid Innate GMO potatoes:
1. Look for products labeled 100% organic: United States and Canadian governments do not allow companies to label products 100% organic if they contain genetically modified foods.
2. Look for “Non-GM” or “GMO-Free” label: When searching for potatoes in a health food store that supplies organic produce, just look for signs indicating that the potatoes are organic and non-GMO. Many packaged products have the NON-GMO Project verified seal, but in this case you will need to look for as many indicators as possible.
3. Read carefully the labels as follows:
-Conventional fruit labels: Never begin with the number 9.Begin with the number 4.
-Genetically modified fruit labels: Begin with the number 8. Note well: it begins with 8, not just contains the number 8 (this is often a 5 digit number).
-Organic fruit labels: These fruit labels begin with the number 9 and they always contain 5 digits. Always double check and make sure before purchase, as some “organic” products have been known to be deceptively labeled to mislead consumers.
Will the new Innate potatoes make the top 10 worst GMO foods for your GMO foods list?
Hopefully we won’t find out because, as expected, the Center for Food Safety plans to appeal the USDA approval of GMO potato. If we are lucky enough, we’ll see a reversal. So, keep your fingers crossed fellas!
Center for Food Safety
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