The GMO Apple That Won’t

cut apple turned brown…turn brown.

The Canadian biotech firm Okanagan Specialty Fruits have created an apple that won’t turn brown when you cut them, peel them or slice them up.  Unlike Frankenfood GMO, these apples do not have genes added from another species.  Instead, their own genes were modified.

It’s still gene manipulated.  And we still don’t have long term studies on human use.

In February 2015, the company distributed about 500 40 pound boxes of packets of their sliced GMO apples to various as yet unnamed stores in select Midwestern areas of the USA.  Testing the market, so it seems. 

Right off what annoyed me is yet another plastic packaging for the environment because of the convenience of apple slices and cosmetic appeal.  As daft as selling a banana in a plastic pack.  Or an apple.  Whole.

Some customers may welcome these GMO apples, as it will take about 3 weeks for the apples to show oxidation.  Other customers may barely notice why their packet of apple slices appear so freshly cut and won’t know the reason is because they have been genetically modified.

And that is the point.

These packets of sliced up apples ready to go for your lunch or snack are called Arctic® Golden Delicious and  have the company’s logo of a snowflake inside an outline of an apple.  They aren’t labeled GMO, of course and this raises up the ongoing concerns about proper labeling. You see, you will have to go to their website to find out (who does this whilst shopping?) or you will have to scan the QRCode to be sure.

Makes you wonder why that information is THERE but not easy to find without your smart phone scanner.

Neal Carter, president of Okanagan is against clearly labeling their apples GMO because he feels this will “demonize them” which translates to:  no sale.  Yep, he’s right on that one.  I wouldn’t buy them.

Here’s an excerpt from this New York Times article:

The Department of Agriculture, which approved the apples for commercial planting, said on Friday that it had considered these issues. However, it stated that under the law, approval is based on whether a genetically modified crop poses a threat to other plants. The department determined that the apples posed no such risk.

I’m touched by the concern for ‘other plants’.  What about us, the non-plants?

The short interpretation of this is concern and approval that there is no threat/harm to other plants.  But we consumers need to jump through hoops to unravel the puzzle as to which apples are GMO and which are not?  The majority of consumers, including me, want to make our own decisions based on OUR personal choice as to what we eat – or not.  If a consumer wants to avoid GMO, it is their choice and right.  So, label it.  Clearly.

Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said in a statement, “This G.M.O. apple is simply unnecessary. Apple browning is a small cosmetic issue that consumers and the industry have dealt with successfully for generations.”

Since forever, it seems.

A little bit of brown because half an apple was forgotten never stopped me from cutting a thin slice away and eating it.  What works for me is the old fashioned method.  Cut apples dunked in lemon water for a few minutes, then popped into a reusable plastic zipper type bag.  Here is where that bottled lemon juice comes in handy.

Or how about just taking that apple slicer/corer thingy with you to work and astounding your colleagues with your deft expertise by slicing and coring a natural apple all in one swift motion?

In the meantime, let’s keep pushing for clarity and labeling of all GMO products.



Suggested NYT article:

Many G.M.O.-Free Labels, Little Clarity Over Rules



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