Non-browning Arctic Apple hit shelves February 1: Will they change consumers’ opinions about GMOs?

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The fruit, sold sliced and marketed under the brand Arctic Apple, could hit a cluster of Midwestern grocery stores as early as Feb. 1.

Critics and advocates of genetic engineering say that the apple could be a turning point in the nation’s highly polarizing debate over genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 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.

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.

“This apple is understudied, unlabeled, and unnecessary,” said Dana Perls, the senior food and technology campaigner with environmental nonprofit Friends of the Earth.

For the Arctic Apple, however, the greatest test is yet to come: whether the convenience of a non-browning apple is enough to convince consumers to look past GMO’s negative reputation.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: The apple that never browns wants to change your mind about genetically modified foods

  • Kevin Patti

    I wish that “Friends” of the Earth would define “enough” in terms of studies. It’s not like these didn’t go through over a decade of research.

  • Good4U

    “Friends of the Earth” has never been friendly to the earth. They just took up that name because it sounded warm & fuzzy. The FOE campaign vs. biotech has hurt the earth in terms of protecting integrity of the environment. This is just one example.

  • Stuart M.

    Why are these pre-sliced? To justify a higher price? I think GMOs are wonderful and look forward to buying the fast-growing salmon when it hits the market. But I hope a little attention has been paid to flavor too, something that sunk the “flavor saver” tomato.

    • They are pre-sliced because it is the market in pre-sliced apples that they are best for. Pre-sliced = subject to browning. The trait they have is worth little if you eat them immediately after slicing.

    • Bruce Stewart

      Why are they GMed at all? Just because we can? Stop playing games with my food!

      • Stuart M.

        Apples which don’t spoil as fast means less food waste. If you want apples that spoil at the normal rate, buy them. But don’t try to dictate to the rest of us what we can and can’t buy.

      • Doug001

        Non browning also means non bruising (oxidizing), which in turn should mean slowing the vitamin loss.
        As others have said, I probably wouldn’t buy them, but I might buy apple trees and grow them myself. Less browning should discourage wasps coming to eat the fallen fruits, dried apple would not need chemical treatment to remain white, and apple sauce would also (IMHO) look better.

  • The market for them is among a special group too lazy to deal with fresh apples that need slicing. Odd. I have never bought these and never would but I’d not hesitate to try one if it was offered by some person or entity so kitchen challenged that they could not slice an apple.
    On further thought there may be a legit market for mothers placing a few slices in their kid’s lunch where whole apples might go to waste. But it would make more sense to drop an individual portion applesauce cup in the lunches since those are shelf stable and they are 30 cents per serving. I use those myself since they offer portion control and they take up no room in the fridge.