GMO Potatoes on The Daily Show

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is not afraid to tackle tough issues with a comedic eye. While The Daily Show has tackled science-related issues such as climate change, evolution, and vaccines many times, genetically engineered crops have not been a frequent feature. Last night, Aasif Mandvi started to change that, and with hilarious results. Watch The Return of a Simplot Conspiracy, where Aasif serves up a meal of Simplot potatoes, with a side-dish of Jeffrey Smith.

It is too bad that the folks at Simplot were not in the episode as well. Perhaps they were wary given previous coverage of their company? (More on that issue here.) The real star of the segment was Dr. Walter De Jong, an Associate Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University. He addressed many of the claims made by Smith, foiled the Shill Gambit as well as endured being pelted by potatoes to show they they were dangerous under the right circumstances.

Still, Simplot should have been there, if only to cut the screen time of Jeffrey Smith. Smith made a number of claims in the interview, some of which he is already attempting to explain. Indeed, he has launched an offensive against the Simplot Innate potato and the Arctic Apple to coincide with his Daily Show appearance. Let’s get on it like DICER on dsRNA.

For more information about Simplot’s Innate potato, see this interview we conducted with questions taken from our readers.

Follow Karl Haro von Mogel:
Karl earned his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at UW-Madison, with a minor in Life Science Communication. His dissertation was on both the genetics of sweet corn and plant genetics outreach. He recently moved back to his home state of California. His favorite produce might just be squash.