This month, bags of sliced apples will hit grocery-store shelves in the midwestern United States for the first time. Shoppers who purchase the apples can leave the slices out for snacking, because of a feat of genetic engineering that prevents their flesh from browning when exposed to air.
The ‘Arctic apple’ is one of the first foods to be given a trait intended to please consumers rather than farmers, and it joins a small number of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be sold as a whole product, not an ingredient. Since Okanagan Specialty Fruits in Summerland, Canada, planted its first test apples in 2003, the array of foods modified in labs has expanded to include meatless burgers, made with soya protein produced by recombinant yeast, fish fillets grown from seafood stem cells, and mushrooms whose genomes have been edited with CRISPR technology. Most of these items have not yet reached the market.
Now, many small biotechnology companies developing such foods are watching the Arctic apple’s launch, eager for clues to how consumers will perceive the fruits of their labour.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Genetically modified apple reaches US stores, but will consumers bite?