Last Friday, the Department of Agriculture announced it had approved a potato genetically engineered to reduce the amounts of a potentially harmful ingredient in French fries and potato chip for commercial planting.
The potato’s DNA has been altered so that a chemical called acrylamide, which is suspected of causing cancer in people, is produced when the potato is fried, will be less than normal. This GMO potato also will resist bruising, which occurs during harvesting, shipping or storage and can cause it to lose value or become unusable.
This potato was developed by the J. R. Simplot Company, a privately held company based in Boise, Idaho, the initial supplier of frozen French fries to McDonald’s in the 1960s and is still a major supplier to the fast food giant.
The potato’s nonbruising aspect is similar to that of genetically engineered nonbrowning apples, developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits, which are awaiting regulatory approval. Add all this to the growing list of GE foods, which includes papayas, corn, sugar beets, soy, canola, squash and tomatoes. Is there any wonder why foods should have labels on them? It’s crazy scary what we may be eating and not know it. The more we know, the healthier our food choices can be.