Opposing Genetically Engineered Apples

Opposing Genetically Engineered Apples

Opposing Genetically Engineered Apples. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

Cut into or take a bite out of most apples and immediately that apple will begin to turn brown. It’s a very natural process and besides not looking very appealing there is nothing wrong with the apple. Mark Gedris, Director of Membership & Communications for U.S. Apple Association says the association is opposing a new apple that does not brown.

GEDRIS: A couple of years ago a company out of Canada called Okanagan Specialty Fruits petitioned the USDA to fully deregulate two genetic engineered apples. A Golden Delicious and a Granny Smith which they call the Arctic apple. The Arctic apple has been engineered so that they have essentially turned off the gene that causes the apple to brown.

USDA and APHIS have requested public comment on the Arctic apple.

GEDRIS: And as we did a little over a year ago when we first learned of these potential petitions U.S. Apples does not support the deregulation of these apples and we are asking the USDA not to deregulate them.

Gedris talks about why U.S. Apple is opposing this petition.

GEDRIS: We have not heard any calls for new non-browning cultivars. Apples are healthy and nutritious they way they are. Browning is a natural process that results from exposure to oxygen. There are already naturally low-browning apples in the marketplace. In addition if you just put some vitamin C fortified apple juice on sliced or cut apples it will also prevent browning.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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