For immediate release: October 13, 2014
This morning, McDonald’s launched a new campaign called “Our Food. Your Questions.” The fast food giant’s new effort aims to dispel widespread consumer concerns about the ingredients in popular McDonald’s menu items.
While McDonald’s is divulging some new information about the ingredients it sources for major menu items, the company has yet to respond to the Toxic Taters campaign, which is calling on the company to stop pesticide drift in rural communities where its potatoes are grown. One of McDonald’s major potato suppliers, RDO, is based in Minnesota. Area residents suspected that pesticide drift was harming human health, livestock, and local ecosystems, and confirmed their suspicions of pesticide drift through air monitoring from 2006-2009.
In response to McDonald’s announcement of its new campaign, Carol Ashley, resident of Park Rapids, MN and member of the Toxic Taters Coalition, said:
“If McDonald's is taking questions, we've got one: where is McDonald’s transparency about how many people are harmed by the way its potatoes are grown? In northern Minnesota, we have measured hazardous pesticides drifting off of potato fields into homes, yards, and schools. These pesticides are applied to the potatoes that become McDonald’s ‘world famous fries.’
Our campaign, Toxic Taters, is calling for full transparency about what goes into McDonald’s french fries – and that means pesticides too. We’ve been asking McDonald’s and its potato growers to release information about the pesticides used on their potatoes for years, with no response. The company can’t get around our concerns by hiring a celebrity for a video campaign. We want a firm commitment to cutting toxic pesticide use and full transparency about the pesticides that are applied in our communities.”