Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Genetically modified non-browning apples to be available in limited release beginning Feb. 1

Okanagan Specialty Fruits photo
The genetically modified non-browning Arctic Apple will soon be on grocery store shelves, Caitlin Dewey reports for The Washington Post. The fruit will be available Feb. 1 in limited release in the Midwest. The apples have received much criticism. Business owners fear the impact that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) might have on marketing, while organic growers fear cross-pollination. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said they pose no health risks.

"Critics and advocates of genetic engineering say that the apple could be a turning point in the nation’s highly polarizing debate over GMOs," Dewey writes. "While genetic modifications have in the past been mainly defended as a way to protect crops, the Arctic Apple would be one of the first GMOs marketed directly to consumers as more convenient."

"Industry executives predict the apple could open a whole new trade in genetically engineered produce, potentially opening the market to pink pineapples, antioxidant-enriched tomatoes, and other food currently in development," Dewey writes. "GMO critics say they are hopeful, however, that consumers will continue to show skepticism about the produce. Despite a growing consensus in scientific circles that GMOs pose little risk, environmental and consumer groups have successfuly mounted campaigns against GMOs over the past 30 years, successfully limiting the practice to commodity crops like soybeans and corn."

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