“I don’t care about spots on my apples, just leave me the birds and the bees,” sang Joni Mitchell in 1970. But if the US Department of Agriculture approves the new GMO “Arctic Apple,” you’ll end up with spotless apples that could not only be toxic, but also potentially dangerous for the environment.
We have no idea what long-term effects the Arctic Apple could have on bee pollinators, or the people – including children – who eat them. They're intended for the fresh-sliced apple market, but could find their way into the produce aisle shelves and into juice, juice-sweetened snacks, applesauce and baby foods, all of which are mostly consumed by children. And no labeling would be required.
The Department of Agriculture has opened a comment period on the Arctic Apple. We need to urge the agency to keep these apples off store shelves.
Tell the USDA: Reject GMO apples – they’re unnecessary and potentially dangerous.
If this unlabeled, potentially dangerous fruit succeeds in making it to market, it will only be the first of many. If there are long-term consequences to eating genetically modified fruit we won't find out under our current regulatory climate until much too late, because like other GMO foods, these apples are likely to be approved without any public, peer-reviewed study of their long-term effects.
The Department of Agriculture shouldn’t let food producers experiment further on us in its quest to make a minor cosmetic improvement to a fruit intended for mass human consumption.
The apple growers' industry associations representing over 60 percent of commercial orchards have already come out against GMO apples.1 Many are concerned about reduced consumer confidence in the apple market, while some organic growers are concerned that pollen contamination from GMO orchards could endanger their organic certification.2
McDonald's and Gerber have even said they won’t carry the apples in the foreseeable future.3
We need to act now – before these apples hit the shelves at our local grocery stores – to amplify the outcry against this frankenfood.
- Wenonah Hauter, "One Genetically Engineered Apple Spoils the Bunch," The Dr. Oz Show, August 3, 2012.
- Andrew Pollack, "That Fresh Look, Genetically Buffed," The New York Times, July 12, 2012.
- Connor Adams Sheets, "GMO Apples Rejected By McDonald's, Gerber As Washington Labeling Defeat Neared," The International Business Times, November 7, 2013.