GM Apple Approved

GM Apple Approved

GM Apple Approved. I'm Greg Martin with today's Fruit Grower Report.

Some time back we talked about the new genetically modified apple called the Arctic. As of this last Friday, USDA has approved two varieties of biotech apples developed by Canadian company Okanagan Specialty Fruits — one called Arctic Granny, and the other Arctic Golden. The Ag Network's Lacy Gray has more.

GRAY: As we've discussed, the genetically modified apple is known for it's lack of browning after it has been cut. The enzyme that causes apples to brown has been inhibited and the company is hooping that this will make the apples more appealing and therefore drive up the sales. Groups like the Washington Apple Commission and U.S. Apple Association are concerned that the apple could harm the fruit's wholesome, healthy image. One apple industry person said that since there are already non-browning apples on the market, there really isn't a need for another one especially a genetically modified variety.

USDA maintains that Arctic apples are "not likely to have a significant impact on the human environment." The apples are now undergoing a voluntary safety assessment with the Food and Drug Administration. According to Okanagan president, Neal Carter the Arctic apples are nutritionally equivalent to conventional apples. There are some mainstream groups opposing the approval like the Organic Consumer's Association who says the genetic modifications could be harmful to human health, and is calling on food outlets not to use the apples.

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

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