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Food of the Future
Scientists Build a Better Apple

Researchers have genetically modified two kinds of apples to resist browning, and the USDA just gave the produce a green light. Reuters reports:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) approved two genetically engineered apple varieties designed to resist browning that have been developed by the Canadian company Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.

Okanagan plans to market the apples as Arctic Granny and Arctic Golden, and says the apples are identical to their conventional counterparts except the flesh of the fruit will retain a fresh appearance even after it is sliced or bruised.

The USDA was able to determine that these new varieties will not pose a risk to humans or other plants, paving the way for their eventual roll-out in American grocery stores. The apples will be marketed with an “Arctic” moniker, and will be gradually introduced to test markets starting next year.

Greens won’t be happy to hear the news, though it’s hard to understand why. No one likes looking at browned apple slices, and the genetic modifications made to these apples prevent that; moreover, they’re safe. Study after study has shown genetically modified organisms to be safe for human consumption, but a dogmatic resistance to the “unnatural” qualities of these products has environmentalists blind to their potential benefits.

These new apples will sell because they’re more convenient, but there are many more genetic modifications that increase yields and produce hardier crops in more extreme weather—exactly the kinds of conditions we’ve been told climate change will bring. GMOs are a smart, safe solution to the problem of world hunger, and apparently now an answer to brown apples.

We live in interesting times.

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  • Rick Johnson

    It’s not hard to understand the Greens response. They don’t like people and they don’t like anything that makes our lives better.

  • Andrew Allison

    There’s no such thing as a non-GMO! The anti-GMO crowd pretends that an organism genetically modified in the lab is somehow more dangerous that one produced by hybridization or by evolution (aka mutation).

    • f1b0nacc1

      Shhhhhh, don’t tell them about science, you will only frighten them. Next thing, you will expect them to know MATH!!!!!

  • j3relowf

    “Study after study has shown genetically modified organisms to be safe for human consumption, but a dogmatic resistance to the “unnatural” qualities of these products has environmentalists blind to their potential benefits.”

    People don’t trust the government and they don’t trust scientists. And they are right not to.
    From JAMA Internal Medicine

    “Results Fifty-seven published clinical trials were identified for which an FDA inspection of a trial site had found significant evidence of 1 or more of the following problems: falsification or submission of false information, 22 trials (39%); problems with adverse events reporting, 14 trials (25%); protocol violations, 42 trials (74%); inadequate or inaccurate recordkeeping, 35 trials (61%); failure to protect the safety of patients and/or issues with oversight or informed consent, 30 trials (53%); and violations not otherwise categorized, 20 trials (35%). Only 3 of the 78 publications (4%) that resulted from trials in which the FDA found significant violations mentioned the objectionable conditions or practices found during the inspection. No corrections, retractions, expressions of concern, or other comments acknowledging the key issues identified by the inspection were subsequently published.

    Conclusions and Relevance When the FDA finds significant departures from good clinical practice, those findings are seldom reflected in the peer-reviewed literature, even when there is evidence of data fabrication or other forms of research misconduct.”

  • Fat_Man

    I am in favor of GMO food. But, this one seems a little excessive. A squirt of lemon juice will keep apple slices from turning brown.

  • S.C. Schwarz

    This will be a grand fundraising issue for the Greens. In the end these apples will not be allowed to be sold.

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