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McDonald’s, Gerber: No Plans to Use GMO Apple

Edit (Nov. 8): This article has been amended to include a response from the creators of the Arctic Apple. The original headline read “McDonald’s, Gerber Reject GMO Apple.”

Both fast-food giant McDonald’s and leading baby-food manufacturer Gerber have announced that they do not plan to sell or use the “Arctic” apple, the first genetically engineered apple with an application pending at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The move suggests that, even as Washington becomes the second state after California to reject mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), consumer pressure may still sway some food companies from adopting new GMO products.

The statements came in reply to a request from the environmental group Friends of the Earth to clarify their position on the new apple, which has been genetically modified to not turn brown for two weeks when sliced.

McDonald’s said in a letter that it has no “current plans to source the Arctic apple variety.” Apple slices currently sold by McDonald’s are soaked in lemon juice and calcium ascorbate to maintain a fresh appearance.

In a similar letter, Gerber said that all of its fruit and vegetable purees were made without GM crops.

A spokesman for Okanagan Specialty Fruits, the maker of the apple, said that the apple was still several years away from being viable to market to large companies such as McDonald’s and Gerber. There would be no reason for the companies to consider using the apple before it has even been approved by the USDA, he added.

The language used in the letters, he said, does not reject the idea of using Arctic apples in the future when purchasing them may be a possibility.

“The conclusion that either of these companies have ‘rejected’ Arctic apples is clearly false,” he said.”

© Food Safety News
  • Gene

    Actions being made by environmental groups will lack credibility and be unsupported long term if they continue to be only based on fear of the unknown.

    • Connie Kuramoto

      It is up to the pro gmo people to prove that this technology is safe, not us! No fear, just good old common sense. How about all the scientists who know about this and are not convinced it is safe….what the heck is THEIR problem?

  • anthony samsel

    The GM apple is another possible threat to honeybees, and other pollinators. There have been no long term testing of the effects of this or other GM pollen on pollinators, the microbial community of the insect, humans and other animals, as well or possible effects to the CYP 450 enzymes. Again the scientific precautionary principle is ignored for the sake of patent royalties.

  • commonsense

    Maybe if people understood why an apple turns brown and that it’s a natural occurrence there wouldn’t be demand for such an apple. Or better yet buy an apple, cut it yourself, and eat it. Duh.

  • anthony samsel

    CYP 450 enzymes catalyze the oxidation of many organic substances, not just pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, but also lipids, steroidal hormones and other xenobiotics that we are exposed to. Pollen carries fatty acids and also carries pesticide and herbicide residues too.

    Genetic modification can cause changes in fatty acids. Herbicides are also known to affect the fatty acid content of plants. Fatty acids in pollen can be disrupted and no one knows the consequences on bacteria and CYP 450 enzymes be they, positive or negative.

    All varieties that are GM should be evaluated for their effects on microbes and CYP 450 enzymes.

    A new standard for evaluation should be considered and probably will emerge in the near future.

    • Jeff Leonard

      It took me a while to recognize the name….’exogenous semiotic entropy’. You do realize Anthony that the Arctic apple has nothing to do with Roundup resistance? Your concern about the possible effects to cytochrome P450 genes from an apple that with reduced levels of polyphenol oxidase in the fruit would be laughable except for the fact that your paper got so much mileage in the internet crazysphere.

      • anthony samsel

        Putting the Arctic apple aside for a moment, you do realize, that glyphosate is used for weed control in orchards and that the residues are found in the fruit. Just another vector for glyphosate.

        Back to the Arctic apple, no one knows the effects of the GM pollen as well as the changes made which are evident in the fruit and how these may affect our microbiome as well as our biochemical pathways.

      • Connie Kuramoto

        You are quite rude to classify any opinion as laughable, but it is a common technique of a lot of the pro gmo crowd to make fun of anyone who disagrees with them so I have learned to expect it. I agree with Anthony, lots of round up, as well as other pesticides are used in growing apples. Aren’t you aware of that? Everything is connected sir. Glyphosate is everywhere these days as a result of round up ready technology.

  • It would have been much safer if the apple that we eat comes from organic farmers.

    • Jermo2

      The problem with the term “organic” per se, is that the FDA allows for minimal percentages of GMO to contaminate the dna of organic crops.

  • princessbb

    We operate a B&B . When we serve apples we prefer to serve them freshly cut. We don’t want them laying around for a week before we serve them. We like them to turn brown so we know which ones are fresh

  • Sheryl McCumsey

    What information do you offer other than sarcasm? None.

  • Connie Kuramoto

    SO tell us Robert, what this gene is and exactly what it does. And outline for me again each study that specifically tests for safety of bees who consume genetically modified pollen and tests on humans who consume genetically modified foods. And don’t just tell me to go to your website, I want links to the studies that have proven beyond a doubt that these human manufactured foods are safe.

  • Connie Kuramoto

    Nothing in the world is worst than a brown apple…oh my goodness!!! How silly that thousands of dollars are being spent to prevent such inconsequential problems. If a browning apple is your only problem you are lucky indeed. How stupid! It just means we can be served older, less vitamin rich apples without knowing it.

  • Rono

    Okay, so they are gonna use “fresh/organic” apples, but what about the rest of their very toxic filled menu?? Hahaha! This is a joke!

  • Jermo2

    If the GMO’ers truly believed their genetically engineered foods were safe, they would be open to meaningful and cordial discussion on the subject. But what I have found instead, whether on this site or any other site dealing with Roundup Ready crops and other GMO foods, the pro-GMO folks are quick to judge and name-call – and they do not budge. Their attitude is that they, and only they, have the answers to a scientific approach to feeding the world. Their self-righteous arrogance to “do and believe as they say” towards people questioning the safety of GMOs proves that they do not have the answers. Their security is in what they do to make a living (the bottom line) and not in God Almighty, Who gives peace, security and wisdom to answer the questions regarding our food resources and how we should progress. Instead of asking God for wisdom on how to use science to provide an abundance of healthy and sustainable foods, they turn to their own devices of playing god, “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools,” Rom 1:2