Looks like you can put that lemon juice away. Thanks to the US Department of Agriculture’s approval of America’s first genetically-modified apples, you won’t need it to keep some of your fruit from turning brown when you cut it.
Engineered by the Canadian company Okanagan Specialty Fruits, these Granny and Golden varieties, or Arctic apples as they have been classified, will also not change color when bruised, due to an enzyme that has essentially been turned off.
But some opponents of genetically modified organisms are not so excited about the news.
“We sounded the alarm back in 2013 and hoped people would understand what a slippery slope it is to have all of these foods that are genetically modified,” says Mira Calton, who launched a Change.org petition two years ago with her husband to “Say NO to GMO Apples.” “Obviously, we can’t say without a doubt that GMOs are dangerous, but we can say that not enough human studies have been done. We don’t want to be the guinea pigs.”
Okanagan has submitted Arctic apples for the Food and Drug Administration’s safety testing voluntarily, and the FDA is still working on those tests. In the meantime, the first few GMO apples are expected to appear in stores in 2017. And by that point, Okanagan founder and president, Neal Carter, says his company shouldn’t be forced to use a GMO label.
“We’ve spent time and money on five years of regulatory work to prove and to demonstrate our product is as safe as any other,” he says. “Label it just like any other apple. We’ll have information at the point of sale, and we’re very transparent on our website. Let the consumer decide.”
TELL US: Would you try an Arctic apple?
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Photo Credit: Arctic Apples