When Food Is Futuristic: GMOs and your health

Chronogram
March 1, 2014

GMOs might not be as terrible as we think, but that doesn’t mean we should eat them.

Annie Internicola

Annie Internicola

They’re as old as the Garden of Eden. In pie, they’re all-American. Teacher-pleasers and doctor warder-offers, apples are a vision of whole-food health—you can even eat the wrapper. But come next Halloween, the fruit you might be bobbing for will be unlike any you’ve ever known. Apples have gone high-tech. The new Arctic® Apple (note the registered symbol) has been genetically engineered so that it doesn’t turn brown when sliced. That’s right—the world’s first apple made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is coming to market soon, pending a few final hurdles toward USDA deregulation. Yet it’s no surprise that en route toward its commercial debut, the laboratory-born fruit has sprouted a bit of controversy. Anti-GMO activists are upsetting the apple cart with corporate admonishments and consumer amber alerts. The Arctic® Apple’s producers, a Canadian biotech company called Okanagan Specialty Fruits, says the apples are well tested and found perfectly safe to consume; without the “yuck factor” of browning, they might even inspire more healthful eating in our junk food nation. The marketing challenges, however, are fierce—just how eager will the public be to bite into the so-called Frankenapple? Read article…