A Canadian company called Okanagan Specialty Fruits has developed an “arctic apple” — a genetically modified apple with a longer shelf life. The company claims restaurants and industrial kitchens aren’t buying apples as much because they brown and spoil too quickly.
These “arctic apples”, derived from varieties of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious Apples, are using laboratory methods to insert genes to make apples brown-free. The company isn’t even planning on labeling them as genetically engineered. They might provide information on their website, but not directly at the point of purchase.
Health and agricultural consequences of GE apples are still unidentified. GE pollen from apple trees may contaminate organic fields and drench them in toxic pesticide residue. It is relatively unclear if dsRNA manipulation has harmful effects, and no tests have been conducted to see if these GE apples are even safe. Stand with the Center for Food Safety and demand that the USDA oppose GE apples.
Photo Credit: Cheryl Chan/Getty Images
To: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Okanagan’s non-browning “arctic apples”, if integrated into the food market, could go unlabeled. GE apples could make their way into juices, baby foods and applesauce without consumers knowing. There are unknown health risks with these apples and they need to be tested.
The U.S. Apples Association, Northwest Horticultural Council, as well as the British Columbia Fruit Growers Association have both openly opposed the development of Okanagan’s GE apples. I stand with the Center for Food Safety in asking that the USDA does not approve these GE “arctic apples”.
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