First GMO Apples to Hit U.S. Stores in February

GMO apple

Add GMO apples to the list of fruit to avoid at the grocery store. According to the Organic Authority, ten “lucky” midwest stores (sense the sarcasm) will test market the genetically modified Golden Delicious apple in early February 2017.

The toxic apple has been genetically modified not to brown for three weeks once sliced. The apples were genetically engineered using a gene silencing technique that reduces the amount of the enzyme polyphenol oxidase (PPO) in the apples, which causes apple flesh to oxidize when exposed to air.

Regrettably, the general public will be left in the dark as to what stores will be selling the first GMO apple. The producer, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, has refused to release the names of the test stores but their CEO released a feel good statement assuring us the midwest wasn’t selected for any particular reason.

Midwestern retailers were chosen for the first sales this winter because they seemed like a good fit demographically and in presence and size, Carter said.

Asked if Midwest consumers may be more accepting of genetically modified apples than those on the East or West coasts, Carter said consumer research didn’t indicate that and that it wasn’t a consideration.

“We don’t want to skew our test marketing results by choosing stores that may be more friendly to genetic engineering,” he said.

Unfortunately, this is just the first wave of GMO apples to hit stores. Granny Smith and Fuji varieties have been approved by the USDA, and the Gala apple is set for approval in 2018.

If you happen to be in the midwest the brand to look out for is “Arctic” and they are produced by Okanagan Specialty Fruits of Summerland, BC.  They will come in an innocent looking plastic package and the apples will be pre-sliced.  Luckily for us they only produced about 500 forty pound boxes, but expect to produce 6,000 boxes from the 2017 crop.

These numbers won’t even put a dent in the apple market but we as consumers need to reject this product so it doesn’t have a chance to spread across the US market.