Are genetically engineered Arctic apples safe to eat?

| | January 18, 2018
hi bc arctic apple
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The Arctic apple is the juiciest newcomer to produce aisles. It has the special ability to resist browning after being cut, which protects its flavor and nutritional value. Browning also contributes to food waste by causing unappealing bruising on perfectly edible apples.

Are Arctic apples safe?

After over a decade of research, regulatory agencies in the United States and Canada like the FDA and USDA recently approved Arctic apples for human consumption. Accumulated evidence shows that Arctic apple trees and fruit are no different from their traditional counterparts in terms of agricultural and nutritional characteristics.

Yet some anti-GMO groups continue to protest the approval of Arctic apples, arguing that unforeseen consequences of the genetic alteration could impact safety. It’s true that it’s impossible to predict and disprove every possible consequence of a genetic change. But a recent review by the National Academies of Science that covers decades of published research found no convincing evidence that GE crops have negatively impacted human health or the environment. While it’s important to rigorously test all new crops that are developed, GE crops should not be considered inherently more dangerous than their traditionally-bred relatives.

Artboard
The molecular-level science behind Arctic Apples – PPO enzymes (red ovals), polyphenols (purple hexagons), and oxygen (orange circles) must all be present for browning to occur. (Graphic by Lillian Horin)

Read full, original post: Arctic Apples: A fresh new take on genetic engineering

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