The very first GMO (genetically modified) apples that have been designed to resist the process of browning once sliced is set to arrive in a selected number of Midwestern U.S. stores shortly. This fruit which is produced by the company Okanagan Specialty Fruits which is sold under the name Arctic Apples are set to be packaged under the name “grab-and-go” slices. This information is according to the Capital Press derived from the site http://www.nationofchange.org/2017/01/20/gmo-arctic-apples-hit-shelves-next-month-without-clear-labeling/.
Capital Press went onto state that customers will only be able to know that the fruit is in fact genetically modified by scanning a package using their Smartphone’s. Okanagan Speciality Fruits adhere to the latest GMO Food Labeling act which allows for these businesses to use QR codes opposed to clear wording which was previously used to inform consumers when a product contained any GMO ingredients.
Neal Carter the president and founder of Okanagan Speciality Fruits told Capital Press that they sell under the Arctic brand and that they have already received a lot of attention and press so they go under the assumption that most people are aware of what the product is. This product is also identifiable by the snowflake label on the inside of an apple-outline.
The concept behind these apples is that in order to prevent browning this company “silenced” the enzyme named PPO (polyphenols oxidase) which is what causes oxidation to occur in apples. The company states that the benefits of the apples is that they significantly cut down on food waste as currently around 40% of apples are wasted from causes of superficial browning and bruising.
However, the executive director from Food & Water Watch, Wenonah Hauter states that the product is not only unnecessary but all the risks have not yet been examined fully. She also states that there may be unintentional consequences linked to this fruit.
She goes onto state that the regulators have failed to mention possible types of unintentional effects related to this technology that include: the potential of the economic impact that could occur for farmers, the potential for contamination on non-GMO and the organic apple-crops. Over and above the potential impacts that the “non-browning” gene silencing that has the potential to weaken plant health and defenses.
How You Can Avoid These New GMO Apples
According to an AG publication from CapitalPress.com, between 1,000 to 1,200 40-pound boxes of Arctic Golden GMO apples are set to be sliced and then sold in a number of grocery shops with the aim of marketing purposes in the western part of the U.S. this fall.
Many quick-serve and food service restaurants as well as retailers have expressed their interest in using these GMO apples. This means that the people that eat out can become unwillingly test subjects. To try and avoid these GMO apples it is suggested to:
- Buy Non-GMO Project Verified of certified organic when possible from a local and trusted farmer
- Never buy apples that are labeled as “Arctic”
- Avoid buying pre-sliced or unlabeled apples such as the ones found in kids or cafeteria meals