www.nytimes.com - July 12th, 2012
A small company is trying to bring to market a genetically engineered apple that does not turn brown when sliced or bruised. But it has much of the rest of the apple industry seeing red.
The company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, says the nonbrowning apple will prove popular with consumers and food service companies and help increase sales of apples, in part by making sliced apples more attractive to serve or sell.
While Americans have been eating genetically engineered foods since the 1990s, the Arctic Apple, as it is being called, would be the first genetically engineered version of a commonly grown fruit that people directly bite into.
But the U.S. Apple Association, which represents the American apple industry, opposes introduction of the product, as do some other industry organizations. They say the genetic engineering, while not dangerous, could undermine the fruit’s image as a healthy and natural food, the one that keeps the doctor away and is as American as, well, apple pie.
“We don’t think it’s in the best interest of the apple industry of the United States to have that product in the marketplace at this time,” said Christian Schlect, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, which represents the tree-fruit industry in and around Washington State, which produces more than 60 percent of the nation’s apples.