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Here Comes the First Genetically Modified Apple

It doesn't brown as fast when cut or sliced
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2015 5:44 PM CST
Here Comes the First Genetically Modified Apple
File photo of apples from the US Apple Association.   (PRNewsFoto/U.S. Apple Association)

People leery of genetically modified crops will soon have to look a little more carefully when they reach for an apple. The Agriculture Department today gave the go-ahead to a Canadian company to sell GMO apples in the US, reports Reuters. They've been doctored to resist browning when cut or sliced open, which Canada's Okanagan Specialty Fruits thinks will be attractive to restaurants and other businesses that serve or sell food. The trick will be overcoming public apprehension about GMO products and convincing farmers to grow them.

Okanagan plans to sell two varieties, called the Arctic Granny and the Arctic Golden, and the company says it will put a snowflake logo on them, reports the Wall Street Journal. It's possible the FDA will require further labeling, but that remains unclear. The FDA is currently reviewing the apple to ensure its safety, but as the New York Times explains, that review is voluntary, though "virtually all genetically modified crops have gone through it." In any event, don't expect to see the apples in widespread distribution for several years—even after the company convinces growers to sign on, the trees will need time to bear fruit. (More apple stories.)

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