Kibutz tackles McSpud problem

JERUSALEM (Reuter) - A kibbutz hopes to overcome a crisis over the opening of McDonald's first Israeli restaurant by growing potatoes to specifications laid down by the giant fast-food chain, the Israeli Agriculture Ministry said yesterday. Israel's first McDonald's is due to open in December, but the strain of potatoes the chain uses for its French fries in the United States is not grown in Israel.

The Agriculture Ministry has barred the franchise holders from importing the vegetable. A Ministry spokeswoman said Kibbutz Saad will grow the right strain of potatoes. The Ministry will help the collective farm to buy seeds of the strain which are available in Europe.

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