Originally published April 1 2015
Apple growers fearful that non-labeled GMO apples could tarnish the entire apple industry
by Amy Goodrich
(NaturalNews) Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the first genetically modified "arctic" apple, developed by the Canadian biotech company Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., which is designed to resist browning.
Check out the difference between a non-browning Arctic® Golden and a conventional Golden Delicious here: YouTube.com.
While apple growers fear the new apple, the company says these apples will prove to be very popular and increase the sales of all apples worldwide. They think that more people will buy apples when they are pre-sliced, fresh-looking and ready to eat.
The New York Times reported Neal Carter, founder of Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., saying, "A whole apple is 'for many people too big a commitment. If you had a bowl of apples at a meeting, people wouldn't take an apple out of the bowl. But if you had a plate of apple slices, everyone would take a slice.'"
Despite the huge opposition, the "Frankenapples" will first be available in the Golden Delicious and Granny Smith varieties. According to Carter, the first non-browning apples will be on the market in the US and Canada by 2016-2017, and slowly hit the rest of the world in the coming years.
Apple growers worldwide are opposed against the approval. They think the arctic apple may harm and undermine the healthy and natural image an apple has. Although the apple will be labeled "Arctic," a label that clearly states the apple is GMO is not mandatory.
Fred Steele of the British Columbia Fruit Growers' Association said that it is going to be too hard for the consumer to make a decision in the grocery store. He predicts that many of us will leave apples out of our daily diet because of the uncertainty of the origin and whether they are safe or not for human consumption.
The Okanagan Specialty Fruits Company understands the concern of the public and apple growers but says that there is no reason to label the apples or to be scared for our health when eating the non-browning GMO varieties.
"All we've done is turn a gene off, so there's no foreign proteins. That apple is the apple you've always eaten," said Carter.
Many people in the apple industry said that there was actually little need for such a trait. When we want to put apples in a fruit salad or into a child's lunchbox and don't want them to turn brown, fresh lemon juice does the job just fine.
"We really just think it's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist," said Sarah Dobec, a board member of the Canadian Organic Growers based in Toronto. "Apples brown for a reason and that's nature telling us that it's slowly degrading or oxidizing, so to remove that function of the biology of the apple doesn't seem to serve anybody really."
The only ones who will benefit are the people who produce and sell these apples. Carter got the idea from the carrot market. Before cut-up baby carrots existed, carrots weren't a popular fast and healthy snack option. So Carter wondered if he could do the same with the apple. He believes sliced apples which don't turn brown or need lemon juice can be the next huge, money-generating food craze.
"This whole thing is just another big experiment on humans for no good reason," said Ronnie Cummins, director of the Organic Consumers Association, to Reuters.
Also, read Mike Adams' (a.k.a. the Health Ranger and creator of NaturalNews.com) article for more info about how the arctic apple is made and why you should opt for the real, natural thing instead: NaturalNews.com.
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