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USDA Approves Genetically-Engineered Apples that Don’t Turn Brown

USDA Approves Genetically-Engineered Apples that Don't Turn Brown

It seems like every day that passes, the USDA approves another very risky GMO crop, all to the benefit of biotech/chemical companies and to ZERO benefit for consumers. This time, the USDA has approved a first-of-its-kind genetically-engineered (GE) apple that doesn’t turn brown after bruising or slicing. The apple, developed by the company Okanagan Specialty Fruits, […]

GMO USDA
LivingMaxwell.com

It seems like every day that passes, the USDA approves another very risky GMO crop, all to the benefit of biotech/chemical companies and to ZERO benefit for consumers.

This time, the USDA has approved a first-of-its-kind genetically-engineered (GE) apple that doesn’t turn brown after bruising or slicing.

The apple, developed by the company Okanagan Specialty Fruits, uses a relatively new form of genetic engineering called RNA interference, or gene silencing, which has raised numerous concerns from consumer groups, environmentalists, and the apple industry.

Like other GE products in the U.S., no mandatory labeling will be required. This approval allows commercial production of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious varieties of Okanagan’s non-browning “Arctic” apple, and the company has Fuji and Gala versions on the horizon.

Needless to say, the most important organic food watchdog organizations are up in arms over the decision made by the USDA.

“This product is completely unnecessary and poses numerous risks to apple growers, the food industry and consumers,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for Center for Food Safety. “For USDA to turn a blind eye to these risks for such an inessential technological ‘advance’ is foolish and potentially costly.”

Here are a few things for you to know about this newly approved crop.

Does the apple industry want this GE-apple?

Absolutely not.

The U.S. Apple Association, Northwest Horticultural Council (which represents Washington apple growers, who grow over 60% of the apples in the U.S.), British Columbia Fruit Growers Association and other grower groups have already voiced their disapproval of these GE-apples due to the negative impact they could have on farmers growing organic and non-GE apples, and the apple industry as a whole.

Could these GE-apples contaminate nearby organic apple farms and other non-GE apple farms?

Yes.

And if this happens, these organic apple orchards will lose their organic certification, putting their owners in serious financial peril and decreasing the amount of organic apples in the marketplace.

Could these unlabeled GE-apples end up being consumed by innocent babies and kids?

Yes.

They could find their way into non-GE fruit slices, juice, baby foods or apple sauce at the processing level, products predominantly consumed by children and babies who are at increased risk for any adverse health effects.

How do we know that these apples are safe for human consumption? 

We don’t know that they are safe for human consumption. No long-terms studies on humans ever been conducted on these GE-apples.

Furthermore, a group of leading European scientists recently declared that there is “no consensus” on GMO safety, contrary to what the food industry would like us to believe.

Who benefits from a GE-apple?

The biotech company making this extremely unnecessary food product, Okanagan, and the chemical companies who are selling the toxic pesticides to be sprayed on it.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Unfortunately, many of us submitted comments over the last few years protesting this apple and the Center for Food Safety submitted its scientific concerns, but to no avail. So, unless a lawsuit is filed to prevent this GE-apple from hitting the market, there is little we can do right now.

However, I have gotten word of several very important GMO initiatives coming up over the next few months, and it is essential that we have everyone’s support and involvement.

Please make sure you’re on my email list (see below), so I can keep you informed of everything that is going on.

We are at a critical juncture here, and the possibility of GMO-labeling is more real than most people imagine.

Thank you for your concern and for staying optimistic!

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8 Comments

  • Laurie says:

    Ignore…just found your Facebook page. Thank you!

  • Laurie says:

    Please consider getting a Facebook page, more people will be aware of all you’re doing for us, if so. The more the educated, the better.

  • Opal apples naturally don’t brown after slicing and are non-GMO. Learn more at http://opalapples.com/about.aspx and http://opalapples.com/buzz.aspx.

  • Patrick Kilhoffer says:

    This is a misleading article. If it benefits neither consumers nor growers, then it won’t be grown. There is an expense to plants and maintaining trees. Without some sort of benefit it won’t happen. It’s also expensive to develop new plants, so obviously there is some reason why it was developed. Not saying it’s a good idea to actually do it, but clearly the article is biased and misleading.

  • EK says:

    I saw Opal apples at Traders Joe. They don’t market them there as “non browning”, but I found advertisements somewhere else and they do promote them as such. I bought one and they really do not go brown. Traders Joe sells both non organic and Organic Opal apples there! Steep price – @ 1.49 per organic apple! Are these part of the GE Okanagan’s non-browning “Arctic” apples you are writing about? Please let me know.
    What worries me, is while you in the store, there is no way to know whether they are non browning, GMO or whatever. And since they are marked organic, you don’t even think about a possibility of the GMO.

  • marge201 says:

    Geez, how stupid this is. Yet another reason to buy organic, which ain’t exactly cheap but I have no choice. Thanks for all your work, Max.

  • Brian says:

    Thanks for the heads up, Max. Now a designer apple. Such an attractive and warm, friendly site they have. So they’re preventing the apples from producing much or any of the PPO enzyme whose reaction with other “phenolic compounds” in the cells of the apple would normally cause it to turn brown. Yeah, browning is associated with spoilage, but isn’t the browning in that sense a visual cue that the nutrient content of the fruit is (becoming) no longer viable? Okay, I’m not in biotech but I’m skeptical that just because they’ve improved the paint job it doesn’t mean there aren’t any problems underneath, as in they’re not able to also stop the loss of nutrients. Ultimately, as someone who prefers nature’s way of working it out I agree this poses a disturbing contamination problem for the livelihood of organic farmers.

    “Gene silencing.” The term itself just doesn’t have a great feel to it, does it? Conceptually, I can appreciate applying the technology in the context of “silencing” a gene determined to be the specific cause of a debilitating disease, but not a process that is accepted as naturally occurring. This is yet another great (but not so great) example of the distinction between those of us who feel the path to improvement should come from finding ways to work in harmony with nature and those who will always consider nature as something inferior which must be improved and dominated.

  • Vera says:

    I’m furious with the USDA approving the GE apples this is absolutely insane I don’t mine if my organic Gala apples turn brown when slicing them for my Apple Pie I fight very hard for our food to be GMO free.

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