Genetically modified apples that never go brown hitting supermarket shelves
The first genetically modified apple will hit US shops after decades of protest, back-and-forth regulation and laboratory development.
The Arctic Apple, which manufacturers claim never goes brown once sliced, could hit Midwestern grocery stores as early as 1 February.
Supporters of GM food are celebrating a landmark moment, while one critic has branded the apple “understudied, unlabelled and unnecessary”.
“We see this as less about genetic modification and more about convenience,” said Neal Carter, founder of Okanagan Specialty Fruits, which made the Arctic Apple.
“I think consumers are very ready for apples that don't go brown. Everyone can identify with that 'yuck' factor.”
GM technology dates back to the discovery of DNA and, more specifically, the use of genetically modified microbial enzymes in the 1980s.
The Flavr Savr tomato was the first commercially grown food product in 1994, which was followed with GM potatoes, canola, maize, cotton and golden rice.
Supporters of GM food hail it as the cure for worldwide hunger, an alternative to pesticides, improved flavour and increased health benefits.