New Zealand’s strict GMO laws force researcher to test new gene-edited apple in US

red flesh apple hi res
Image Credit: Newsweek

The red-fleshed apples developed by Plant and Food Research’s scientist Professor Andrew Allan and his team are so contentious they’re not allowed to eat them in New Zealand.

The cores were removed from the apples so no seeds were present. They were triple-bagged and sealed. Phytosanitary certificates were gained….to move the apples from their glasshouse….to the United States. Allan and the science team flew the precious cargo to San Francisco where a taste-testing panel of 50 people waited….Two years spent trying to gain approval to taste-test them outside the glasshouse [in New Zealand] were unsuccessful.

With their maroon-skin, and red-tinged flesh, [Allan’s apples] look different to any commercially grown apple. The genetic modification which has created them combined two different apples. The Royal Gala was chosen for flavour, and a small red-fleshed wild crab apple….for its high-levels of anthocyanin, an antioxidant….

Related article:  Afraid of GMOs? Thousands of studies, strict regulations show there's nothing to fear, farmer says

Allan is working within….a 23-year-old piece of legislation which regulates genetically modified or edited organisms. Since the act was written science has advanced. Techniques like Crispr have emerged, where it is possible to edit DNA without inserting genetic material from another species.

[Allan] doesn’t know when….the regulations that forced the team onto a flight to San Francisco will change. “It’s a shame that I can’t get four million people through this greenhouse and explain to them how wonderful the stuff we’re doing is. It’s so exciting….

Read full, original article: The story of genetics and Mt Albert’s forbidden fruit

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend