Arctic Apples, a New Genetically Modified Organism
Genetically Modified Apples, Already Passed by the USDA
Latest Genetically Modified Organism, The Arctic Apples
You may not be aware but more genetically modified foods are hitting the market, all the time. The latest genetically modified food, artic apples are expected to be available to small test markets sometime in 2016.
Before I even dig into the details of the most current genetic manipulation of our food. I must admit the positive position of most of the articles relating to these Arctic Apples and the genetic modifications, are very concerning.
If you "Google" Arctic Apples, the search results for promoting this genetically modified food are staggering! Hopefully more of those that appose genetically modified organisms, will speak up and produce more articles to the contrary.
GMO Apples Will Be Available In Small Test Markets In 2016
Genetically Modified Apples
Hopefully if you made your way to this hub, then you have already read my GMO article, and have a basic idea of what type of manipulation is happening to the foods we eat.
The reason behind the new Arctic Apple being genetically modified is that once an apple is sliced they quickly start to turn brown. You know how an apple tends to get the dark 'sugar spots' once it has set for a little while after cutting or being bitten. The new and supposedly improved Arctic Apples, will not brown like their natural counterparts. They will resist fungus and be more shelf stable and resist softening.
These genetically modified versions were created by the Canadian biotech company Okanagan Specialty Fruits. This decision was referred to by the companies president Neal Carter as being 'A Monumental Occasion' and the biggest milestone yet for us, and we can’t wait until they’re available for consumers.
Okanagan is hoping to sidestep all the Anti-GMO campaigns by only using other fruit genes in the manipulation of the Arctic Apples DNA. It still seems unnatural to create a modified organism and we are taking all this on faith from what the company is telling us. Yet it is considered a "natural" modification of the apple in order to produce a "non-browning" crop.
Honestly why is browning such an issue, how often do you not eat an apple fast enough that it gets to browned to eat? We have several apple trees on our farm and I eat them all the time during growing season (I even eat them before they are ready, I love sour apples!). Sure they get a little brown to them while I eat them, though it does not effect the taste of the apple at all!
This is a great example of the "perfection" that causes 32% of the food in the United States to be thrown out, only to end up in landfills. $162 Billion dollars worth of food is thrown away because it is not "visually appealing". It makes me sick to even research the amount of foods so easily thrown away by the masses. When one in eight people, will starve to death, that is more than 13% of the overall population each year.
Why are we allowing more GMO varieties that push the "perfectionism" of foods to be grown and commercially sold? Imagine how much money was spent on the two decades of research in order to create these new GMO Arctic Apples. I bet that could have fed a lot of starving people around the world.
A bit off topic but you get the point I am trying to make. For centuries we have been enjoying the fruits nature provides, why the need to play with our fruits, vegetables and grain crops? The argument to support the ongoing creation of genetically modified organisms is supply and demand, along with long term sustainability. By altering these seeds and plants to be resistant of pests and weeds and drought we can grow more crops to feed the masses. Masking it as a hunger and starvation issue, yet look at how many people are still starving every year all over the world!
So now we will add an addition to the 80% of crops being grown, that are already genetically modified organisms, with the addition of the non browning Article Apples.
Throughout my research the one thing I find that is the most concerning is that extra copies of the polyphenol oxidase gene as well as nptII, neomycin phosphotransferase type II gene, from E. coli Tn5 into the DNA of the Arctic Apples!
E. coli as far as most people are concerned is BAD! So why would we want it in our apple trees? If that is not concerning enough they have also been manipulated to grow on a medium that contains the antibiotic Kanamycin. Kanamycin is not in anyway beneficial to the apple trees. Yet every cell in the apple tree and the fruit will be resistant to Kanamycin antibiotics. Kanamycin is used to treat infections in HUMANS. While ingesting these apples you are ingesting a bacteria that can ultimately cause resistance to an antibiotic you may indeed need one day.
Then think about that resistance then being passed to the soil and then draining to any nearby water source. We all to often turn a blind eye to things like this. It does not just impact the plant itself- it impacts everything the plant has contact with- soil, water etc.
Would you eat an apple that has been altered with E.Coli?
GMO Arctic Apples In New York!
As I mentioned earlier this particular genetic modification has been worked on for decades. The biotech Okanagan has already been growing test plots of Arctic Granny and Arctic Golden varieties, a few acres in New York and Washington state.
Of course they did obtain the proper USDA permits in doing so. However, I wonder how many citizens were aware of this "GMO" manipulation in their back yards!
This was done to document how the trees would react to various climates. As well as identifying how they produce in those climates.
Does the posibility of the food you eat causing antibiotic resistance concern you?
Two Varieties Of Genetically Modified Apples
You can expect to see Arctic Granny and Arctic Golden varieties of Apples in small test markets sometime in 2016. The main focus right now is for the biotech company to work with farmers on planting the trees. Since it takes some time for an apple tree to grow and produce they are projecting 2016 as the year this GMO will roll out, and be available for purchase.
These test groups will be small in order guage the publics response to the apples.
From my research so far Mcdonalds and Gerber have not rejected these GMO arctic apples. Although there are a few misleading articles that would have you believe Gerber did in fact reject the product, it just is not the case.
As a parent this is concerning, we do not eat Mcdonalds foods, however we did use gerber products when my son was small. I would have find other baby foods if we decided to have more children and Gerber decides to greenlight the Arctic Apple proposal.
Simply put with these apples "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" may no longer be the case, if we start to build antibiotic resistance as a result of consumption.
With antibiotic resistance already being a huge issue globally, I cannot see adding to the problem by allowing these genetically modified apples in my home. You will have to decide what is right for you and your family of course, I am only offering the information to educate those that may not be in the know.
Wildlife will be ingesting the antibiotic resistance as well!
Knowledge is power. The reason so many GMOs exist and no label is required, is that the general population has been kept in the dark for so long!
More Genetic Manipulation Of Apples
While you can expect to hear or see the two GMO Arctic apples I mentioned before in 2016.
Testing has already began on other apple varieties like fuji and gala as well as many other fruits like oranges. So it is only a matter of time before our local market is filled with even more GMO products.
It makes you wonder why the FDA requires labeling on over 3,000 ingredients and yet they do not require it for GMO foods.
As of March 20th these GMO apples have been approved for Canada as well.
If this is as concerning to you as I find it, then I suggest visiting http://nongmoshoppingguide.com/ to find tips and information on shopping for NON-GMO foods.
Please feel free to comment! I appreciate any and all feedback good or bad!
Arctic Apple GMOs
How do you feel about a new GMO being introduced.
Rachel Parent is a 15 year old teen activist fighting for the labeling of GMO foods in Canada!
Say No To GMO
Now we arrive at the "what to do portion". By now I hope you are wondering what can be done about GMO foods. In the United States very few states have actually passed legislation to make labeling GMO foods mandatory.
A disturbing fact is that over 60 total countries have either partial BANS or have totally BANNED GMO foods. Why is America and the FDA so dead set against merely labeling the GMO products when so many countries have banned them!
If you are interesting in working towards legislation in your state to require labeling on a state level or even just in your city The Center For Food Safety website is a great place to start. They can help show you the way! You can also contact them via email for information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also be interesting in checking out the "Kids Have A Right To Know Club".
It really is up to you what you decide to put in your body, no one can tell you what is right for you- but you! I hope that this article at least gets you thinking of the ramifications of genetically modifying our foods. I have an article that further explains GMOs and the industry you can access it here.
© 2015 Cynthia Hoover