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Not Lovin' It: McDonald's Says No to Simplot's GMO Potato

 / Updated 
A McDonald's restaurant sign in Del Mar, Calif., on April 16, 2013. Reuters file

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co.'s new genetically modified potato. But one of the company's oldest business partners — McDonald's — hasn't.

The fast-food giant says it doesn't use genetically modified potatoes, the Idaho Statesman reported. "McDonald's USA does not source GMO potatoes, nor do we have current plans to change our sourcing practices," the company said in a statement.

The USDA this month gave Boise-based Simplot permission to begin commercial planting of its new spud, called the "Innate" potato. The company altered the potato's DNA so it produces less acrylamide, which is suspected to be a human carcinogen. Potatoes naturally produce the chemical when they're cooked at high temperatures.

The potato is also engineered to resist bruising. Simplot is a major supplier of french fries, hash browns and other potato products for restaurant chains like McDonald's.

This isn't the first time the fast-food industry has resisted GMO potatoes. More than a decade ago, Monsanto brought its bug-resistant "New Leaf" line of genetically modified potato to market. Buyers, led by the fast-food industry, rejected the Monsanto spud, and it was pulled from production due to lack of business.

— The Associated Press

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