• Despite Health And Contamination Concerns: USDA Approves Genetically Modified Apple

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    The apple, called the “botox apple”, is produced by using a new form of genetic engineering called RNA interference or gene silencing.Consumer advocates and food safety groups are concerned about this apple and the new method of producing it. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for Center for Food Safety said in a statement. The USDA decided to approve a genetically modified apple that doesn't brown after bruising or slicing. This apple, called the Arctic apple, was developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits.

    Center for Food Safety today expressed deep concern over the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision to approve a first-of-its-kind genetically engineered (GE) apple that doesn't brown after bruising or slicing. The apple, developed by the company Okanagan Specialty Fruits, uses a relatively new form of genetic engineering called RNA interference or gene silencing, which has raised numerous concerns from consumer groups, environmentalists, and the apple industry. Like other GE products in the U.S., no mandatory labeling will be required. This approval allows commercial production of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious varieties of Okanagan’s non-browning “Arctic” apple, and the company has Fuji and Gala versions on the horizon.

    Unlike earlier cut-and-splice techniques focused on DNA, the new techniques, called RNA interference or RNAi, are based on the manipulation of RNA molecules in order to dial back the expression of, or silence, genes. The Arctic Apple has been engineered to reduce polyphenol …

    The genes that produce polyphenol oxidase enzymes are being silence. They increase resistance against pests and stress in the trees. The Arctic apple trees may be more vulnerable to disease and require more pesticides than conventionally grown apples. This has already happened with other plant crops that are modified to be resistant to pesticides.

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