A new strain of genetically modified apples that don’t bruise or brown when cut have been approved for planting and sale in the U.S., according to the Department of Agriculture. After evaluation, the Department of Agriculture has said that the apples are “unlikely to pose a plant pest risk or to have a significant impact on the human environment.”
The apples, which will be marketed as “Arctic Granny and Arctic Golden,” could hit shelves as early as 2017. The new fruits were designed to reduce food waste and expand the sliced fruit market, and are the latest in a new crop development trend: using genetic engineering to up customer appeal, rather than farmer benefits.
NCPA research has already outlined the benefits of biotech crops for combating global hunger. By targeting genetic modifications at consumers rather than just producers, genetically modified crops can gain a larger foothold in the market ― and move closer towards widespread public acceptance.
While GMOs have a fairly large presence in U.S. markets, they continue to struggle abroad. Heavy restrictions, lengthy authorization and risk assessment processes, and split public opinion all inhibit the progress of GMOs in other nations. Perhaps making modifications that benefit consumers will soothe both public and government concerns, and encourage nations to ease restrictions on GMOs and other forms of biotechnology.