Consumers have shown a great deal of resistance to GMO food over the years, but the Golden Arctic apple, which will soon be available to Midwestern shoppers in the US, is the first GMO product to hit the market that actually adds tangible value for the consumer. Rather offering benefits to farmers (being resistant to an herbicide) or to chemical companies (that sell herbicide), Golden Arctic apples offer a powerful lure to customers: They simply don’t brown.
Golden Arctics are a Golden Delicious apple that has been modified to get rid of the enzyme that causes browning in apples, and the main appeal seems to lie with lunchbox crowd—busy parents for whom sweet, pre-sliced apples offer welcome convenience.
This apple will be a real bellwether in the GMO debate. Suspicion of GMO corn and soy abounds, but then again, so do GMO corn- and soy-derived ingredients in everything from Nature Valley Granola Bars to Doritos. With the Cavendish banana facing a slow but steady march toward extinction in the face of banana wilt, the question of whether shoppers are willing to buy GMO fruit may determine what’s in our fruit bowls at all in 20 years.
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