Arctic Apples are fruit that has been genetically modified not to brown when they are cut. Because the genetic modification process is what prevents the browning, these apples are now being sold on places like Amazon as “preservative free.” In addition, they are being sold without disclosing the fact that they are genetically engineered.
The United States does not require labeling of GMOs so there is nothing illegal about selling food products without disclosing GM elements. The apples are tellingly only being sold in the U.S., a country that is fast becoming the most toxic food supply in the world outside of China.
But while it may not be illegal, selling GM Arctic Apples could very well be dangerous and it is a violation of a consumers’ right to know if they are purchasing a product that could harm their health.
GM Arctic Apples have not been properly safety tested and regulators in the United States have yet to assess the health or environmental risks of the genetic engineering process used to produce the apples. Of course, we all know that U.S. regulators are not going to have a problem with any genetically engineered food product as they have essentially acted as Monsanto’s errand boys for years.
Still, for those who may be concerned, consumers should be aware that the Arctic Apples are created by using a “gene-slicing technique called RNAi or RNA interference. Independent scientists warn that products engineered using RNAi might silence the genes or otherwise affect the gene expression of non-target organisms. In this case, non-target organisms include humans who eat the apples.”
Arctic apples are promoted as preventing waste, with promotional messages such as:
Slicing into food waste with Arctic® apples
Arctic® apples: more apples for consumers, less for the garbage
But Arctic apples are sold as slices inside plastic packaging. Indeed, the slices sold via Amazon don’t just come in one plastic package but as “multi-packs containing 12 individual serving bags”. Only 25% of all plastic is recycled or burned; the rest ends up in landfills and waterways.
There are apples that don’t brown, however. They are called Opal and they are sometimes even grown organically so there is no need to order GM apples.
Interestingly enough, the Arctic Apple was developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits. OSF is now part of the biotech company Intrexon having been acquired in 2015. Intrexon is the same company that owns AquaBounty of GM salmon fame.