The genetically modified obstacle course in the produce section is about to get some new hurdles
Our good friends at the FDA,
always-kissing-corporate-butt always vigilant, have deemed GMO apples and potatoes to be a safe, even beneficial, part of the food supply. Warning: I cringe over the fact that most of this article sounds like something from the Onion or another snarky satire website. The quotes below don’t even sound real, but all came straight from an AP report.
Two varieties of apples by the Canadian company Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. were approved, and six varieties of potatoes by the J. R. Simplot Co of Boise, Idaho were approved.
How ’bout these apples?
The apples are modified so that they don’t turn brown when sliced. This is of vital importance, because we certainly can’t have our children biting into whole apples in the lunch room, can we? The non-browning apples were developed to be used as bagged apple slices. As company founder Neal Carter said,
“We know that in a convenience-driven world, a whole apple is too big of a commitment.”
And yes, he really said that. I swear. You can find it HERE. The apples will be called “Arctic Apples” and the first varieties to have been modified are Granny Smith and Golden Delicious.
Will GMO spuds resolve the world hunger crisis?
The potatoes won’t bruise if you drop them, also a trait that I’m sure every consumer has been looking for. According to the company, bruising from impact and pressure during harvest and storage will be reduced by more than 40%, thus saving 3 billion pounds of unattractive potatoes from being tossed every year. Wow. GMOs might just save all of those starving children in…umm…where are they this year? Oh yeah. Here.
The potatoes, called “Innate” will be of the Ranger Russet, Russet Burbank, and Atlantic varieties. Simplot’s VP, Haven Baker, draws us a mental picture of pastoral delight:
“We’re trying to improve potatoes so everyone gets a better experience, just like it’s right out of the field.”
How idyllic. This could revolutionize the saying, “Would you like fries with that?”
Except….there’s a glitch.
You know it’s bad if McDonald’s refuses to use them
Not everyone is delighted by the new FDA-approved Frankenfoods.
“McDonald’s USA does not source GMO potatoes nor do we have current plans to change our sourcing practice,” the company said in a statement Friday. Uh-oh. That’s a bit of a shock, considering the company isn’t exactly known for it’s high standards.
Burger King and Wendy’s, however, declined to comment.
Other large potato users are also not on the GMO tater bandwagon:
Con-Agra, the parent company of Lamb Weston has no interest in the newly approved spuds. “All Lamb Weston frozen potato products are made with non-GMO potatoes, in line with customer demand,” a company statement said.
McCain, another maker of potato products is a bit more wishy-washy. They don’t use them now, but they might later, for our own good. Because they recognize “the challenge of producing affordable food to meet demand”. How nice of them.
These new potatoes will have brand new health benefits.
French fry lovers, take heart. If your fries are made with genetically modified potatoes, then you will be safe from cancer. I’m just going to quote this so you can rejoice in your soon-to-be lowered carcinogen intake:
Simplot says its potatoes will have 70 percent less acrylamide, a chemical that can be created when potatoes are cooked at high temperatures. And it’s touting that as a health benefit, as some studies have shown acrylamide to be a potential carcinogen, though the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health says scientists “do not yet know with any certainty” whether the substance can be harmful in food.
The FDA in its approval Friday noted that acrylamide has been found to be a carcinogenic in rodents. (source)
Remember the Flavr Savr tomato?
Biotech and the FDA certainly hope not.
Because if you remember that, you will recall that the new-and-improved genetically modified foods rarely work out.
One of the first GMO monstrosities prematurely approved by the FDA was the Flavr Savr tomato, by the company Calgene (now a part of Monsanto). Scientists added a bit of recombinant fish DNA to slow the spoiling process. BEFORE the tomato was approved by the FDA, the tomatoes were fed to rats for only 28 days before gastric bleeding and death occurred. 7 of the 40 rats developed bleeding stomachs and 7 more died and the FDA STILL APPROVED the tomatoes for public consumption.
The only reason they were taken off the market is because the flavor and texture were poor. Had they been tasty, I have little doubt they’d still be on supermarket shelves.
Just say no to GMOs
- Staying informed about great new “advances” that are being approved by the FDA
- Growing your own fruits and vegetables from carefully sourced seeds or plants
- Purchasing from local farmers you know and trust
- Doing your research to identify potential GMO offerings
- Refusing to purchase GMO foods
- Letting the food companies know why you refuse to purchase their mutant products.