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Friends of Earth, Arctic Apples spar over whether McDonald’s might sell GM apples

| November 13, 2013
arctic vs regular apple
A regular apple next to an Arctic apple. Via Biofortified
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

(Summary)

The developers of the genetically modified apple, Arctic Apples, have released a statement in response to Friends of the Earth, which claimed that McDonald’s and Gerber had “rejected” the apple, which has been genetically modified to resist browning or bruising.

Lisa Archer, director of the Food and Technology program at Friends of the Earth said that both McDonald’s and Gerber wrote letters saying that they have no plans to sell Arctic Apples. Archer claimed that these companies are outright rejecting the technology, citing potential environmental and human health issues.

In response, Arctic Apples addressed the McDonald’s and Gerber letters, pointing out that the two companies did not reject the GM apples, only said that they have no plans to sell them. This is logical, Arctic Apples argued, because the GM apples have not been commercially released yet and so they cannot be sold or used by either company. The McDonald’s letter clearly states that it reviews products on a case-by-case basis “as they become available on the market,” which excludes Arctic Apples.

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“In truth,” Arctic Apples wrote, “FOE’s position is a manufactured, deliberately misleading construct to better serve its own motivations. We strongly encourage you to review the actual letters from McDonald’s and Gerber for yourself to get the accurate information straight from the source.”

The US Department of Agriculture recently concluded that Arctic Apples are safe for the environment and “recommended they be approved for commercial planting.” The USDA has recently released its Environmental Assessment report and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has recommended deregulation. The public has until December 9 to comment on the deregulation of Arctic Apples.

Read the full, original story here: “Response to FOE’s claims that McDonald’s, Gerber have ‘rejected’ Arctic apples”

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The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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