A GMO Apple?

Believe it or not the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is considering approving the first genetically modified (GMO) apple – inserting genes that would prevent it from turning brown after being sliced.

Called the Arctic apple, this would be the first GMO approval solely for cosmetic appeal and shelf life, not to resist insects that destroy crops. Since it doesn’t turn brown, the apple would decay more slowly (or perhaps just shield its decay), remaining crisp a lot longer.

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If this doesn’t sound like a good idea to you, get your comment in now because you won’t be able to after December 9.

A slew of groups are against it because of potential contamination of non-GMO apples – including organic apples – including the US Apple Association and the Northwest Horticultural Council – which represents Washington State growers who produce over 60% of apples in the US. McDonald’s and Gerber announced they will neither use or sell the apples.  

But so far, the USDA’s environmental assessment doesn’t acknowledge contamination threats – it doesn’t even recommend buffer zones from other apple crops. It also doesn’t analyze potential long term impacts, such as effects of long term ingestion by pollinators – already under severe stress – and other wildlife.

And since the non-browning trait is meant to slow decay, it could act like any other preservative, causing a variety of health issues for humans.  

According to California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), USDA’s data comes directly from the company that would produce Arctic Apples – Okanagan Specialty Fruits – there is no independent evaluation.

That’s really not a surprise given that the USDA has been speeding up the approval process by allowing Monsanto and other biotech companies to conduct their own environmental impact assessments, resulting in a rapid roll out of new GMO crops and foods. "Under Vilsack’s watch, the agency has never denied the approval of one GMO crop," says Will Fantle of Cornucopia Institute.

The comment period is intended for people to discuss the environmental assessment – comment here:  

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Comments on “A GMO Apple?”

  1. Krishna

    Gmo foods will bring many consequences like impotency, cancer and future generation will suffer without children and unknown consequences waiting on the horizon.Europe has banned tom foods because it,s impact on environment. American companies will do anything for money even sell their own wives and daughters or have sex with their daughters. so people it,s in your hands to prevent this else you pay the price for it for not doing anything and rich people have their own farms and their generation will survive. In a democratic country like us people,s voice is more important than anything else please wake up else we deserve this. You can be a cheat but not a fool let us not be fool.

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