GMO Un-natural Apple from BC doesn't turn brown


A small British Columbia fruit grower has developed an apple that doesn't turn brown when it's cut or bruised, but not everyone is biting.

Okanagan Specialty Fruits, a small company in B.C.'s Okanagan Valley, is hoping to get approval to begin production of the Arctic Apple that they say won't turn brown. The company website says right now it is available in Granny Smith and Golden Delicious varieties, with plans to add Fuji and Gala apples in the future. They say the fruit will still decay naturally but won't turn brown in "minutes, hours or days."

Neil Carter, president of the company, says they were able to genetically modify the apples using techniques developed by Australian researchers, who had developed it for potatoes. He says by turning off the enzyme in apples that makes them turn brown, actually improves the taste and smell, adding that he believes the apples are perfectly safe using apple's own genes to create the new fruit, and he's confident that consumers will bite.

But the Toronto Star says a recent Canadian survey by the B.C. Fruit Growers Association and the Quebec Apple Producers Association found that nearly 70% of consumers surveyed, wouldn't support government approval of the genetically modified fruit. The Toronto Star says the company is seeking regulatory approval in Canada and the U.S. A 60 day period asking for public comments by the U.S. Department of Agriculture began on July 13, 2012 and a similar request for public submissions by the Canadian Food Safety Inspection Agency drew more than 3000 responses.

The New York Times reports that the U.S. Apple Association is opposed to the introduction of the Arctic Apple, saying while they don't believe genetic engineering is dangerous, it could be a bad PR move and undermine the fruit's image as a "healthy and natural food".

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