The new GMO non-browning apple has been met with a wide array of skepticism and disdain from everyday people on social media, who have spoken out against the unnecessary nature of the creation.
After all, there are already hybridized (bred in the field, not created in the lab as with GMOs) versions of non-browning apples out there, making the new CRISPR-created variety from Okanagan Specialty Fruits less of an innovation and more of a novelty, or perhaps a smart business play at a time when GMOs still aren’t labeled.
In addition, what’s wrong with plain old, regular organic apples that turn brown when the time is right, anyway?
The answer lies in the food service industry, where the company believes it may find its biggest market for apples with a longer shelf life, essentially fooling customers.
Now, despite thousands of comments against the creation and a lack of long-term safety testing, the apple company is preparing for a big push following what it called an “amazing” test run in select U.S. markets.
Arctic GMO Apple Ready for “Aggressive Push”
“When people had a chance to see the apple and experience it and realize how fantastic it is, I think that that’s a real game changer,” said the creator of the GMO apple Neal Carter in this new article about the apples from the Canadian news organization CBC.
The apples were sold in 10-ounce grab-and-go bags, and the company liked what they saw in terms of results, although the sample size was small and the apples were not labeled as being GMO (therefore customers may not have known the exact nature of what they were buying).
“That’s what’s allowed us to move forward very aggressively with a lot of confidence,” Carter said recently about a possible forthcoming expansion.
The GMO apple creator, whose products will continue to be sold unlabeled, said that he doesn’t worry about the ongoing criticism and boycotts of the GMO food industry.
“We understand that there’s a segment out there that chooses not to buy biotech and that’s fine, that’s their choice,” said Carter.
The next phase of the expansion of GMO apples is likely to include an expanding amount of growing operations, with projections asserting 1,200 hectares by the year 2022. The new apple trees will be planted in Washington state.
“Our business model has us planting trees very aggressively,” Carter said.
The apples were said to have been sold in about 400 U.S. stores in the Midwest.
Critics say that the apples should have been labeled, considering they are created using the CRISPR GMO technique that allows independent scientists everywhere to experiment with our food supply by “turning on and off” different genes.
Recently, a Columbia University study showed that this technique causes “hundreds of unpredictable gene mutations” within an organism, although it is not known whether or not this may take place in food.
Supporters of CRISPR gene editing say that it can help to find answers to many highly difficult and deadly diseases, while others urge caution over what is seen as one of the most powerful technologies to hit the scene in many years.
At any rate, if you want to avoid the GMO apples, you should lookout for the words “Arctic” or “Okanagan” on the package, since no GMO labeling will be required as is the case in over 60 countries around the world regarding traditional lab-created GMO foods.