Arctic apples

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Elizabeth Suggs | Staff Writer


More than five years in the making, Arctic Apples were created by Canadian based scientists for the Okanagan Specialty Fruits company.

Due to be available in stores before 2016, Arctic Apples are genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. According to Arctic Apples, the purpose for Arctic Apples is to create a solution for the browning effect made by apples once cut or bitten.

Bruising can also be “shrugged” off.

“I think that everybody has seen apples go brown.” Neal Carter, founder of Okanagan, said in a video interview. “We found that developing a [non-browning] apple would be a big benefit for the industry.”

GMOs are living organisms with genetic material artificially changed. Many, such as Greenpeace or the Non-GMO project, find GMOs to be unsafe, and unfit for consumption.

“This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional cross-breeding methods.” The non-GMO project said on their website.

Greenpeace agreed with the non-GMO project.

Arctic Golden slices (bottom) compared to conventional Golden slices.

Arctic Golden slices (bottom) compared to conventional Golden slices.

“Biological diversity must be protected and respected as the Global heritage of humankind, and one of our world’s fundamental keys to survival. Governments are attempting to address the threat of GE with international regulations such as the Biosafety Protocol.” Greenpeace stated in their website.

Contrary to both Greenpeace and the non-GMO project, many believe GMOs are the keys to success. A recent protest by GMO activists against Greenpeace in Brussels is evidence of that.

The protest was led by Patrick Moore, a former Greenpeace member now pro-GMO.

Like many pro-GMOs, Moore believes GMOs could prevent millions of deaths due to starvation.

According to Dr. Qaim and Dr. Klümper, from Göttingen University, GMOs offer more benefits for poor countries where pests and weeds are bigger problems.

Arctic Apples are a cosmetic change, but Carter thinks this will create a spark of interest in apples, and lead to healthier, better lives.

“The idea is to modify foods to cater toward our needs,” said Mike Cluck, a UVU student.

New Pew Research Center recently surveyed both scientists from the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) and public citizens, the two groups, showed a high contrast in views on GMOs.

88 percent of AAAS scientists agreed that GMOs are “generally safe” to eat. Only 37 percent of the public agreed GMOs were safe to eat.

“These apples are probably some of the most tested apples in the planet. They are no different from the parent apple. They have the same composition, the same taste, the same growth habit. The only difference is if you bite into it, you cut or bruise it, you won’t get the brown,” said Carter.