The USDA is poised to approve the first genetically modified apple.
If approved, these genetically engineered apples could end up everywhere from school lunches to grocery stores, posing risks to our health, our environment and apple farmers across the United States.
This new GMO Arctic Apple® was engineered for purely cosmetic reasons — it lacks the enzymes that cause apples to brown when cut. However, browning in apples can be prevented naturally by applying lemon juice or another source of vitamin C, making this new risky genetically engineered apple unnecessary.
Thanks to the help of thousands of people like you, McDonald’s and Gerber recently confirmed to Friends of the Earth that they have no plans to sell the GMO Arctic Apple® — wisely siding with consumers and apple growers that are rejecting this risky, unnecessary, unlabeled apple.
The GMO Arctic Apple® is a problem masquerading as a solution. Without natural browning, apples may look fresh when they are actually decaying. Scientists believe apples’ natural browning enzyme may help to fight diseases and pests, meaning that farmers may have to increase their pesticide use on these new GMO apples. Apples already carry some of the highest levels of toxic pesticide residues, many of them linked to hormone disruption, reproductive harm and even ADHD.
Like other GMOs, it won’t be labeled and won’t have undergone independent safety testing — regulators will rely on the company’s sole assessment that the apple is safe for human consumption.
Worse yet, this GMO apple was genetically engineered via a new, virtually untested experimental technique called RNA interference, which many scientists are concerned may have negative, unintended impacts on human health and the environment.