Genetically modified apples and potatoes are more and more common. Yet some food suppliers refuse to trust apples that won’t brown and potatoes that won’t bruise. But now they no longer have to worry about this. On Friday FDA (The Food and Drug Administration) approved these genetically engineered goods, considering them just as nutritious and safe as their natural counterparts.
GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) represent food grown from seed which were genetically engineered inside a lab. FDA approved six varieties of potatoes coming from Boise, Idaho-based J. R. Simplot Co. and two types of apples from Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.
Simplot has named their potatoes Innate and some of the varieties are Atlantic, Russet Burbank and Ranger Russet. Anticipating the possible resistance from consumers, Simplot officials have declared that Innate potato traits originate exclusively from domestic potato varieties genes. The vice president of plant sciences for Simplot, Haven Bakes, explained that they are trying to improve potatoes in order for everyone to get a better experience.
Despite FDA’s approval, McDonald’s, one of Simplot’s old partners, refuses to use the potatoes. On Friday the company stated that they do not source genetically modified potatoes and have no intention of changing their sourcing practice. While McDonald’s refuses to use GMO potatoes, Wendy’s and Burger King refrain from making any comments.
Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. intends to turn apples into a more appealing snack now that it won’t go brown anymore. According to the company, people would not have to wash bagged apples in antioxidants like they do know. Thus the taste of the apples won’t be affected. Neal Carter, the founder of the company says that they have the ambitious plan to make bagged apples as popular as bagged baby carrots.
“We know that in a convenience-driven world, a whole apple is too big of a commitment,” the founder of Okanagan said.
Carter wants the apples to be labeled as Arctic Apples. The two varieties will be Golden Delicious and Granny Smith, but until 2017 there won’t be any important plantings. The GMO potatoes have 70% less acrylamide. Acrylamide is a chemical which can be created when potatoes are cooked and it is believed to be potential carcinogen. Another advantage is the fact that these potatoes will have 40% less bruising from pressure or impacts during harvest and storage. This will save 3 billion pounds of potatoes which are disposed every year by consumers.
Image Source: SMITH & RATLIFF