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IPFS News Link • Worlds Wealthiest People

Bill Gates, GMO Potatoes and McDonald's French Fries -- What's the Story?

• By Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D.

Fact-checkers swooped in after social media memes claiming Bill Gates owns a farm that produces genetically modified organism (GMO) potatoes for McDonald's started gaining traction.

A March 25 Snopes "fact-check" verified that Gates does own a farm in Washington that grows potatoes for McDonald's. But Snopes said statements made by other memes — claiming Gates supplies McDonald's with all of its french fries and that they are grown at a "genetically modified potato farm" — were untrue.

None of the memes — or fact-checkers — addressed Gates' growing investments in U.S. farmland or the use of pesticides on non-organic potatoes.

And none questioned why someone who promotes himself as concerned about global health — largely through global vaccine campaigns — would supply ingredients for a product known to contribute to cardiovascular conditions and weight gain and that contains 19 ingredients, including canola oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, dimethylpolysiloxane, tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, and citric acid.

Gates still scooping up farmland — through 20 holding companies

But while Gates may not own the other farms that supply potatoes to McDonald's, by 2021 he had become the largest single owner of farmland in the U.S. according to The Land Report — albeit through a web of holding companies. By January 2021, Gates owned 268,984 acres of U.S. farmland in 18 states.

According to VNExpress, these holdings also make Gates the 42nd largest overall landowner in the U.S., "with most of those ranked above him owning mostly timberland."