JERUSALEM (Mar. 9)
McDonald’s has filed an official complaint against Israel for its efforts to prevent the fast-food company from importing its own potatoes for franchises slated to open here by the end of next year.
The company filed a complaint with the U.S. government, contending that Israel was obstructing free trade and that Israeli potatoes do not meet the standards for its famous french fries.
Israel’s Agriculture Ministry has denied the charge, claiming it has been cooperative and will arrange for the chain’s brand of potatoes to be grown in Israel.
The ministry has chosen a potato processing-firm, Tapud, to produce the french fries for McDonald’s.
McDonald’s has begun issuing franchises to local businessmen throughout Israel. But it has insisted that it be allowed to import its own fries or have Israeli farmers grow a new strain of potatoes to meet its strict standards.