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