Browning is caused when the flesh of the apple is exposed to air and is oxidized by it. That requires changing the chemical composition of the food. Will that affect how the apple is digested and absorbed in the intestinal tract? Does it alter the nutritional content? Most likely it does, but the company has no motivation to conduct rigorous testing to find out.
A brave new world in apples arrives in Midwestern grocery stores in February. The Canadian company Okanagan will begin selling “Arctic” apples that have been genetically modified to resist browning, reports the CBC.
To show off the apples’ talent, the Arctics will be sold pre-sliced in clear pouches, though they will not be marked as GMO products. The only way customers will know that is if they scan the product code or if the yet-unnamed stores choose to publicize the GMO angle.
“I don’t think we’re hiding behind the fact that we use that technique,” says Okanagan chief Neal Carter. “We don’t want to demonize the product by putting a big GMO sticker on it.” Plus, he adds, the brand has gotten a lot of press already.
This first test run will be small: A total of 500 40-pound boxes will be split among 10 stores, reports Capital Press. So far, the USDA has approved three varieties: Arctic’s versions of the Golden Delicious, the Granny Smith, and the Fuji, but the company expects to keep adding more.