Non-browning Arctic apples could open door to consumer acceptance of GMOs

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On a cloudless September morning, the world’s most infamous apple farmer sat down at a table and carved into a $5 million Golden Delicious.

The Arctic Apple was conceived by Neal Carter’s company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits. It’s an intended solution to what Carter sees as two interrelated problems: First, millions of pounds of perfectly good apples get dumped every year because they look a little too bruised or brown. And at the same time, consumers, accustomed to grab-and-go everything, have developed an impatience for food that can’t be quickly eaten. “An apple’s not convenient enough,” Carter told me.

These trends mean that apple consumption has flatlined in the United States and a staggering amount of apples go wasted. That’s an obvious problem for apple farmers, but it’s also a problem for a nation in which only 13% of Americans eat their recommended daily servings of fruit. The way Carter sees it, the Arctic is a solution to all that: nutritious, attractive, always ready to eat, sliced, dried, juiced, whole. Natural.

Even though there’s no evidence that the Arctic is unsafe for consumption — and leading scientific bodies and loads of studies have concluded that GM foods are safe  — will people want to eat an apple they know is engineered not to brown? Up until now, genetic engineering’s benefits may have seemed abstract to the average consumer.

The Arctic will change that. If consumers embrace the apple, they may also be ready for other kinds of GM foods in the works, like heart-healthy purple tomatoes and cancer-fighting pink pineapples. If they don’t, it’ll be 19 years of work and millions of dollars down the drain.

Read full, original post: Say Hello To The Apple That Never Browns

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