OKANAGAN SPECIALTY FRUITS has for years been touting its ARCTIC APPLE, which doesn’t turn an unsightly brown after being cut or sliced!!!
Last week, the UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT Of AGRICULTURE (USDA) finally approved the apple for planting.
But before you see any Arctic apples at the grocery store, get ready for big round of controversy regarding GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM/GENTETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD (GMO).
WSJ reports the Arctic apple uses a technique called RNA interference (RNAi) to block the enzyme that normally causes browning. The USDA deemed that the apple carries no risk for other plants. And the company is now undergoing voluntary testing with the FDA to prove its apple is safe to eat. It’ll still be a few years before its apple trees grown up to bear fruit.
In the meantime, the controversy over a new GMO apple is already brewing. GMO corn and soybeans are pervasive in our food supply, but the Arctic apple will be one of the first GMO plants marketed directly to consumers. A similarly modified potato, which has fewer potential toxins when fried, was approved last year—only to have big companies like Frito-Lays and McDonald’s immediately disavow them.
Getting USDA approval is a big step for Okanagan Specialty Fruits, but will customers actually flock to its apple even if the FDA deems if safe? With GMO such a toxic word, the Arctic apple will have to work hard to avoid the fate of the Flavr Savr tomato, a genetically modified tomato that never took off.