SUMMARY: "Genetically engineered apples that wouldn’t turn brown on cutting are approved to be planted in the US. "

Genetically engineered apples that wouldn’t turn brown on cutting are approved to be planted in the US. The non-browning feature of the apples would appeal both to the consumers and the food service companies, said Okanagan Speciality Fruits, the developers of the unique apple variety.

The genetically modified apples did not seem to have impressed everyone in the apple industry, though they are safe to consume. The giant apple packer of the East, John Rice, co-owner of Rice Fruit Company in Gardners, Pa., said that there isn’t any requirement for genetically modified apples in the present situation.

Though the Department of Agriculture is aware of the fact that the genetically engineered apple wouldn’t be appreciated by everyone, it was approved for cultivation under genetically modified crops law that allows cultivation of any crop that don’t pose threat to other crops.

Golden Delicious and Granny Smith are the varieties of Arctic apples that are genetically engineered to suppress the enzyme production responsible for browning. Neal Carter, the president of Okanagan, said that the company has many silent supporters, and they also had requests in their Web site from many people asking for the genetically modified apple trees. He also added that it will take a ouple of years for the Arctic apples to be available everywhere as the trees are to be planted to bear enough fruits.

Carter also said that 20,000 trees are to be planted in around 20 acres by 4 growers to produce about 5,000 to 10,000 pounds of apples by fall 2016, enough to give samples for food service companies and efficient buyers. The apples will be made available in small quantities in the stores by 2017, added Carter

The “Genetically Modified Organism” apple is unnecessary and the browning could be easily taken care of by the food service companies as and how they dealt with it for years, said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch. The recommendation of McDonald’s and Gerber to label the product as “genetically modified food” was rejected by Carter, as labelling so would demonise the apples.

SOURCE: International Business Times
AUTHOR: Saranya
DATE: 17.02.2015