Another Compelling Reason to ONLY eat Organic Apples

Another Compelling Reason to ONLY eat Organic Apples post image

They did it! They have finally created an apple that doesn’t get brown when sliced and exposed to air. Yep — you guessed it — the first genetically modified fruit called the Arctic Apple. I’ve been waiting years for this — haven’t you?

Here is yet another food item that is at risk for contamination by the food industry. If it weren’t bad enough that apples are already the number one “dirty” food, due to the over 14 different pesticide residues found on them — now there will be another concern about apples — that they are genetically modified.

But the kicker is that this genetic modification is not even for pest or drought resistance (reasons given to use genetic engineering) — no this genetic modification is for the natural browning that occurs when the flesh is exposed to air. Don’t they know that a little lemon juice takes care of that minor inconvenience?

Playing with genes

It’s almost as if these companies are just playing with genes because they are there. It’s a “let’s see what happens when we do this” attitude. Apparently they do not care about the unknown risks and factors in genetic modification and the consequences.

U.S. Apple Association is opposed

Interestingly, the U.S. Apple Association is opposed to this product — not because they believe genetic modification is dangerous, but because they feel it would tarnish the apple’s image of a natural and healthy food.

We don’t think it’s in the best interest of the apple industry of the United States to have that product in the marketplace at this time,

said Christian Schlect, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, which represents the tree-fruit industry in and around Washington State. The state of Washington produces about 60 percent of the nation’s apples.

Okanagan Specialty Fruits

The company is Okanagan Specialty Fruits. The company says the nonbrowning apple could improve industry sales by becoming popular with consumers and food service companies in part by making sliced apples more attractive to serve or sell.

If that is not the most ridiculous and frivolous statement I’ve heard lately, I don’t know what is. Can you imagine actually studying this “problem” with a straight face?

Others are concerned that since this GM apple will not show browning, how will the consumer know if the apple is not actually rotten?

According to the company website, they have

silenced the gene sequence that controls the production of polyphenol oxidase (PPO), which initiates enzymatic browning in apples. Enzymatic browning (a.k.a. primary browning) occurs when an apple’s cells are damaged, such as through cutting, bruising or biting the fruit. For example, if someone were to grip an apple a bit too hard while picking it, there might be no signs of damage at first, but the slightly damaged cells on the apple’s fresh surface will brown due to this enzymatic reaction.

Granny Smith apples are the first to go

The first apples targeted are the granny smith variety. They are also gearing up for sales of “variety specific” apple juice of various colors — not brown. The implications of using this genetically modified apple in apple juice is seriously frightening because of the widespread use of apple juice, especially for children.

Additionally, most apple juice comes from concentrate mixtures of apples of many different origins. Furthermore, as things stand now, it will not be labeled.

Scientists familiar with genetic engineering have stated that genetic modification changes the genes and the cell in ways that are unpredictable. This translates into having unlabeled items in the food supply that may have unforeseen and long term health consequences that can be serious, severe and even fatal.

But who cares? As long as my apples don’t get brown I’m OK!

Click here to help by telling the USDA what you think about eating rotten apples!

This comment period will close on September 11, 2012 so get your voice heard now!

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Leave a Comment

  • Sarah | The Cyclist's Wife August 3, 2012, 12:56 am

    Ugh! Why? I totally agree that our food is being tinkered with just because. Just another reason to shop at the farmers market!

  • Beth August 3, 2012, 8:25 am

    (sigh) Thanks for posting this. Any idea what the produce code will be?

  • Elisa August 3, 2012, 9:33 am

    Sarah, although I agree with you, Farmer’s Markets are great in that they provide us with fresh, local goodies, I have just recently discovered that not all produce is organic at these markets. And I have to assume if they are not organic, they could be GE. This is disappointing to me because I shop at the FM. I have to be careful because several of the vendors are non-organic.

  • Tracee August 3, 2012, 3:09 pm

    Please clarify, did they use chemicals to modify the apple, as in Monsanto techniques, or did they achieve this modification through cross pollenation?

    • Jill August 3, 2012, 5:55 pm

      Hi Tracee,
      They use biotechnology to genetically modify the apples — not hybridization.

  • Laura @ Stealthy Mom August 4, 2012, 1:02 am

    The name of the company makes me sad. The Okanagan Valley is one of the most bountiful food growing regions North America. Blasphemy.

  • Diane Balch August 5, 2012, 4:33 pm

    I started buying organic bananas when they didn’t brown now I need to do the same for apples… so frightening.

  • Orietta giacalone August 6, 2012, 4:54 pm

    Now that the banana texture and taste has been ruined, what to do with Granny Smith green apples? please leave natural fruit alone. thank you. these apples are perfect for cookiing, baking and i know many people who like them the way they are, natural, not faked.

    • chana August 8, 2012, 10:22 am

      Orietta, what did they do to bananas? I’ve been wondering since the regular bananas taste so bad now and have an aftertaste, the only bananas I can eat are some organic. Trader Joes organic tastes good to me, but Whole Foods, even organic, sometimes tastes off.

  • Lyza August 8, 2012, 9:37 pm

    Ugh, I have been reading about this. It is so scary how incredibly pervasive GMOs are and will be. As hard as I try to avoid all of this stuff, it is so hard to keep up with all of it. How about keeping things as nature intended? How do we teach our children when “nature” is just a past tense.

  • Amanda August 9, 2012, 11:24 am

    This is horrible! You’re absolutely right – there is no reason to be messing with apples for the single reason that they don’t like the color they turn when exposed to air. I definitely sent them a letter! Thanks for posting this.

  • Jennifer Scribner, NTP CGP August 9, 2012, 11:32 am

    Wow – thanks for the alert! We only buy organic apples now, but so many people here in the NW buy the cheapest they can because they’re seen as a staple fruit.

  • Marianne August 10, 2012, 11:21 am

    I see this going for the commercial market. Imagine the possibilities of having fruit salad sold as “fresh” that is actually weeks old, or ordering a fruit plate that has been sitting in the kitchen. Ugh. And who knows what other genes will turn on or off with the addition of this gene. Does anyone know what organism the manipulated gene comes from?

  • Crystal & Co August 10, 2012, 8:22 pm

    Not cool!

    Thank you so much for always sharing your research with us.

  • April @ The 21st Century Housewife August 12, 2012, 7:48 am

    GM foods really do worry me, and I definitely avoid them. Thank you for sharing this really interesting and informative piece!

  • Charla October 1, 2012, 3:56 pm

    We can continue to buy organic, but nothing can stop the cross pollination that will occur and contaminate conventional and organic apples.