Sunday, March 05, 2017 by Daniel Barker
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have given permission to Idaho-based agribusiness giant J.R. Simplot Co. to begin the spring planting and fall harvesting of three different types of genetically modified potatoes.
Simplot says that the varieties are genetically engineered to resist the pathogen associated with late blight, the disease responsible for the Irish potato famine. The GMO potatoes are also modified to keep them from turning brown when sliced, to be resistant to bruises and black spots, and to have a longer storage life.
The company also says that the GMO potato varieties will produce less acrylamide – a chemical thought to cause cancer – when fried. This supposed advantage has prompted Simplot to make the highly suspicious claim that these are actually “cancer-fighting potatoes.”
The three varieties – Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet, and Atlantic – which were previously approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), have now been classified as safe to eat and safe for the environment, despite the testimony of the FDA’s own scientists calling into question the safety of GMOs in general.
Since at least 1992, the FDA has been lying by saying that there is an overwhelming consensus among scientists that GMOs are safe and that there has been sufficient data to back their claim.
Steven Druker, a lawyer representing a coalition of nonprofit organizations, was able to successfully sue the FDA, forcing the release of declassified documents regarding GMOs.
The documents Druker obtained clearly showed that the FDA ignored the safety warnings of its own scientists and covered up all evidence that GMOs were unsafe.
In the YouTube video below, watch from 46:55 to find out what was in the declassified FDA documents:
There’s been very little in the mainstream press regarding the approval of these new GM potato varieties – other than an Associated Press piece being run in all the major news outlets – and the AP story essentially parrots the official lie that there is “no evidence that genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs, are unsafe to eat.”
From the Associated Press (ABCNews):
“There is no evidence that genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs, are unsafe to eat, but for some people, altering the genetic code of foods presents an ethical issue. McDonald’s continues to decline to use Simplot’s genetically engineered potatoes for its French fries.
“Simplot often notes the potatoes contain only potato genes, and not DNA from an unrelated organism. Organisms that contain DNA from an unrelated organism are defined as transgenic.”
According to a statement from the Non-GMO Project, that last sentence is highly misleading:
“There is a growing attempt on the part of biotechnology companies to distance themselves from the consumer rejection of GMOs by claiming that new types of genetic engineering … are not actually genetic engineering.”
In other words, Simplot is saying that because the genetic material used in the modification comes from other potatoes, then it doesn’t count as genetically-modified and therefore is safe to eat.
Both claims are patently false. As Linda Kahl, Ph.D., an FDA compliance officer, wrote in one of the declassified documents:
“The processes of genetic engineering and traditional breeding are different, and according to the technical experts in the agency, they lead to different risks.”
The FDA cannot be trusted to protect the public from harm – they sold out to the GM industry long ago.
And since there will be no labels warning consumers of potatoes and other foods that contain GMOs, the only way to protect yourself is to buy products labeled organic and GMO-free – or better yet, grow them yourself.
If you don’t want to eat Zombie fries you should avoid buying potatoes labeled as Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet, or Atlantic.
One of the best ways we have to fight the GM industry is to identify their products and simply not buy them. If there’s no demand for Frankentatoes, they won’t stay on the market for long.
Follow more news about GMOs at GMO.news.