Less Pesticides in French Fries

According to Reuters, McDonald's Corp, the largest purchaser of potatoes in the United States, has agreed to take steps toward reducing pesticide use in its domestic potato supply.

The world's largest fast-food chain has agreed to survey its domestic potato suppliers, create a list of best practices in pesticide use reduction and recommend those best practices to global suppliers. Its findings will be shared with investors and included in its annual corporate social responsibility report.

McDonald's Corp's investors teamed with Investor Environmental Health Network. Dr. Richard Liroff, executive director at the Network, said that these are early steps, since McDonald's must first know where it stands in terms of pesticide use in potato supplies before it can set targets for reduction.

Liroff said food companies such as Sysco Corp, General Mills Inc and Campbell Soup Co have already demonstrated that cutting pesticide use can make sense from both an environmental health and business perspective.