Move Over, Frankenfish—Now We Have Frankenapples!

July 24, 2012
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gmo-appleApples genetically engineered not to turn brown when sliced or bruised. And new, unnatural proteins are being created in the process. Action Alert!

The “Arctic Apple,” engineered by the British Columbia–based Okanagan Specialty Fruits, thinks the non-browning apples could improve industry sales the way “baby carrots” did for carrot sales. Of course, as most people now realize, “baby carrots” are not young, tender carrots at all, but are simply specially shaped slices of peeled carrots, invented as a use for carrots that are too twisted or knobbly for sale as full-size carrots.

In other words, the GMO apples are designed to fool the public into thinking they’re something they’re not.

“Is it a rotten apple that looks fresh?” said Lucy Sharratt, coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, a coalition fighting GMOs. The fruit company had submitted an application to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, but chose not to make any raw data available to the public during the comment period, supplying only two pages of bullet points talking about the data. The Canadian comment period closed on July 3.

Sharratt also said the genetic engineering was “designed to turn the apple into an industrialized product” that could be sold in plastic bags instead of as whole fresh fruit. She noted that a consumer poll commissioned by BC and Quebec apple grower associations found that 69% of Canadians do not want the GE apple.

The apples, which we’ll likely see in the Golden Delicious and Granny Smith varieties first, contain a synthetic gene that sharply reduces production of polyphenol oxidase, an enzyme responsible for the browning.

Some growers, particularly organic ones, worry the anti-browning gene will spread to their apples. While apple pollen does not usually drift very far on the breeze, it can be carried by bees, and cross-pollination would occur without any way to control it.

Here’s what’s most troubling: while only one changed gene will keep the apples from browning, it is likely that other genes have also been changed in the process of creating a GMO. In fact, Kirk Azevedo, a Monsanto market manager working on genetically engineered cotton (who has since left the company) was told by one of Monsanto’s PhD researchers that there are “other proteins that are being produced, not just the one we want, a byproduct of the genetic engineering process.”

When Azevedo, who had also been studying protein diseases and knew that such proteins could be toxic, said they needed to destroy the seeds from the GE crop so they weren’t fed to cattle, the other researcher said that Monsanto isn’t going to stop doing what it’s been doing everywhere else.

Azevedo later said, “I saw what was really the fraud associated with genetic engineering. My impression, and I think most people’s impression with genetically engineered foods and crops and other things, is that it’s just like putting one gene in there and that one gene is expressed….But in reality, the process of genetic engineering changes the cell in such a way that it’s unknown what the effects are going to be.”

That “unknown” factor is most troubling. No testing has been done to assure the apples’ safety in the long-term, and we know that scientists are seeing birth defects, high infant mortality rates, and sterility in hamsters, rats, and livestock fed genetically engineered soy and corn, and some hamster pups even started growing hair on the inside of their mouths.

The USDA has opened a 60-day public comment period on Okanagan’s application for approval of the GE apple trees. Action Alert! Please send your message to USDA about the dangers of GMO foods, and tell them to keep apples natural!

Take Action!

53 Responses to “Move Over, Frankenfish—Now We Have Frankenapples!”

  1. Elfriede Bower says:

    I am strictly against GMO modified foods. One can check the numbers (little stickers) on the fruit labels to find out how fruits are grown. This little secret should be widely advertized to educate the buyers.
    To avoid vegetables grown in China – read the label!


  2. naturelover says:

    There are very good reasons for Germany to impose a complete ban on all GMO in “any form” from being produced in Germany, or from even entering the country.The European Union has several other member nations who have similar regulations. These countries realized years ago, the seriousness of this issue, and the consequences of GM food and organisms.

    This is an area where we would have expected the U.S. to be leading the way, in terms of first adopting a suitable precautionary policy, and then in doing the research and determining the nature and extent of the long term consequences of GMO, before permitting it to be produced.

    Please understand the national and global impact of this important issue, and look into it based on the facts and the science behind it, and act on behalf of all of us and our future generations.


  3. Sandra says:

    This is outrageous! GMO awareness should be blaring in the news and on our ballots–as well as all the reasons to support your local farmers. What else are they messing with besides apples?


  4. Kimberly Fairbaugh says:

    What ever happened to precautionary principle… This is so disturbing.


  5. Dale LaCognata says:

    Haven’t we got enough in our environment to deal with?!


  6. Dave says:

    If regulators don’t care about the health of the general public, they should be concerned about their own health and the health of their very own family members and help ban genetically modified foods.


  7. Cynthia Lindner says:

    Scientists are seeing birth defects, high infant mortality rates, and sterility in hamsters, rats, and livestock fed genetically engineered soy and corn, and some hamster pups even started growing hair on the inside of their mouths, must our children be the experiments?


  8. David Alonzi says:

    Dear ANH-USA: Thankyou for alerting me on these most vital and important subjects! I wish all these greedy corporations would fall on their faces and stop all this destructive bad science! some of those in our bird brain Govt. bailed out with billions upon billions of dollars to some of the most destructive forces on the planet! Why wasn’t our food bailed out?? The farmers have been alerting the country for many years now on soil depletion and how much it costs to replenish it. Thus being one main reason for so many pesticides. If our money was to go to a good use other than saving a bunch of thieves crying over lost stolen fantasy money: (The ” banks ” are 8 Trillion (with a “T”) richer now than they were in 06. check statistics. Notice how they are the only ones swallowing up other banks and building new banks all over the country? During a depression?? While the rest of us are being kicked to the curb and now being forced and deceived into eat fake mutant foods!! I am outraged at what is going on with our food supply and by what is being done to our farmers! We in the United States should not be going through this at all! We should not be eating fruits and vegetables from China or anywhere else unless: 1) there is a shortage pertaining to bad crop/weather or some other related condition. 2) A specialty food that cannot be grown in our climates. 3) Normal trade of rare crop/foods. Period. The food supply is obviously hi-jacked into the wrong greedy hands of more men who care nothing about integrity but rather ruling the world and trying to find the easiest ,cheapest way to do it at our expense!! There should be more support for local farmers and small farms. There is plenty to go around in every community. I live just outside N.Y.C. and not even two hours away is miles and miles of countryside filled with farmland that is very able to sustain New York City! If priorities were in place and the money was used properly ” organic farming” would be the norm and the prices wouldn’t be higher than gold! Just imagine the jobs that such a project would create talk about creating jobs! And what is more important to a nation besides it’s children? It’s food supply! Where are we headed with all this absolute ass backward priority to bank’s and corporations who got us into this mess purposely to begin with!?!?! Do some history research and watch ” The Money Masters ” documentary on You-Tube. Thankyou and I hope you find my comment helpful. I mean…


  9. nathaniel says:

    OMG America wake up…. people like this are killing the planet, atom by atom. We need to take government out of the foods, drugs, and any other avenue that has to do with our health. We are losing control of being able to have a choice. Big business runs our gov, money is the sceptor of right and virtuous life. No money, no life. Or at least not one worth living. If they had to eat those apples to survive…. you know they would be the most perfect apples possible. Too much garbage is allowed to exist where something simple and beautiful could thrive and bring healthy joy to the world. But some jerk in a suit decides he/she would rather make a buck, so its life. Give me anarchy…! i raise the cows, you grow the wheat and corn, someone else carpentry, and another blacksmithy…… at the end of the day we all need each other to survive happily and comfortably. It should be up to the majority to decide. VIVAtherevolution


  10. Marcia Jackson says:

    Please do not let this happen. The unknown heath problems it could cause are very scary. Leave apples alone in their God given state. That is what is best for we the people. We love our apples natural and in the intended form that nature has made them.


  11. Alma N. Munoz says:

    I am sorry I can not be of help because Puerto Rico is not listed in your list of States. Although
    we are not a State of the US, we are part of the US and get products from there.


    • ANH-USA says:

      If you keep scrolling down, you’ll see US Territories appears after the list of US States, and PR is an option there.


  12. Mary Lou Tringali, PhD says:

    “That “unknown” factor is most troubling. No testing has been done to assure the apples’ safety in the long-term, and we know that scientists are seeing birth defects, high infant mortality rates, and sterility in hamsters, rats, and livestock fed genetically engineered soy and corn, and some hamster pups even started growing hair on the inside of their mouths.”

    This is so important for people to understand how these GMO products affect our DNA and the uncertainty of the mutations is mind-boggling.


  13. Pace D. Fering says:

    For a long time, we have relied on accurate and honest representations of what we buy and sell to use as our foods. For decades, we have proclaimed whether food flavorings are “Natural” or are “Artificial”. We have taken care to not compromise our representations of foods by keeping the distinctions between genuine and simulated foods, for example, Real Crab meat is not packaged as Imitation Crab, and vice versa. But now, those eager to market proprietary GMO versions of natural foods are reluctant to label their products accurately, even as they eagerly assert and proclaim that their foods are no different from natural products, even while they market the GMO versions as products that have advantages that make them superior to natural foods. Margarine is a product generated in an industrial laboratory, and cannot be marketed as butter, the natural product it closely resembles. Anyone who markets margarine as butter would be subject to penalties for fraud. It’s quite clear that the GMO products have important differences from natural foods, and yet the GMO product developers insist on arguing that there are no other significant differences, claiming that the long-term record of safety for natural foods also applies to their products.


  14. hamish dy says:

    precautionary policy – USE IT.


  15. Mrs. says:

    Dear Sirs and Ladies, Nature has all the perfect codes for life and we as human beings, are also part of nature. Do not sabotage your own kind by trying to replace or twist these codes. Nature always provides dire consequences for this and they will be dire. If we desist now, we can keep this from getting worse and poisoning the entire food supply and all that is in it.

    Thank you.


  16. Don Jusko says:

    We have had non-browning apples here on Maui for over a year now. Nobody wants them. They give them away free and still they sit.


  17. v.aradio says:

    here is just another ploy of the mega agra business/chemical pesticide industry in the form of monsanto and the greed of big business, destroying what nature has grown from day 1. we have no idea what kind of side effects this will cause down the road. you know monsanto isn’t giving out any information, especially if it’s bad. we have a right to know what we are eating.


  18. Jim Farrell says:

    The enzymes that cause an apple or any fruit to turn brown are also released by chewing and are used by the digestive track to help us absorb the food. Without these enzymes we will be turning our fruit from food to junk.


  19. Marilyn Danielson says:

    Please stop industries from messing with our food. Stop GMOs


  20. Gina says:

    Im sorry about the double post..I didnt realize the 1st went thru. Please delete the 1st one. Thanks!


  21. Gina says:

    Why do humans think they can mess with perfection? Apples turn brown to remind us to hurry up and eat them because they are good for us. So now well have these freak apples that are rotten but look fresh. R U KIDDING ME?


  22. Gina says:

    WHY do humans think they can modify perfection? An apple turns brown because it is giving us the hint to hurry up and eat it because its good for us!


  23. william kloppenburg says:

    No altered foods ! No GMO


  24. Stop the madness, please! We do not need foods that don’t spoil, we don’t need pretty, we do not need modified. What we do need are healthy organically grown and produced foods that keep our children healthy. Change your approach and stop genetically modifying seeds, plants, food. It is education that is needed and you have the power to halt the madness and give back to the people though research and education instead of killing them with your food. Money isn’t worth the suffering that is coming from your work. We do not want genetically modified food.


  25. Tina Hahn says:

    With regard to genetically engineered food-we human’s have unqnenchable curiosity and this drives us to continue to investigate our universe and what makes it tick. I believe this is a good thing. But when we allow unrestrained exploitation of science for profit, as in the case of GMO food, I believe this has the potential to be devastatingly harmful to all life.


  26. Maria McCan says:

    Stop this foolishness and risk to our well being. I try so hard to stay informed of all the products out there that contain, msg,high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, etc. and everything else that causes cancer. Its so depressing and disappointing to have to deal with genetically modified foods now. Please stop already!!!!


  27. DMeyer says:

    Then they wonder why the bees are dying. Humankind better take note
    they are going to engineer the food supply to the point that there will be tons
    of it all over but humankind will perish due to starvation. The engineered food will
    turn out to be poison.


  28. Kris Kalina says:

    Please leave Mother Nature alone…this plan is just a huge No, No!!!


  29. Joy Peterson says:

    Keep apples natural.

    No testing has been done to assure the apples’ safety in the long-term, and we know that scientists are seeing birth defects, high infant mortality rates, and sterility in hamsters, rats, and livestock fed genetically engineered soy and corn, and some hamster pups even started growing hair on the inside of their mouths.


  30. Ret says:

    The FDA counts as only one letter/fax from each source. In other words, if 100,000 people send a pre-written fax from this site, the FDA will only count it as one. Better to write or call on your own. That’s how disgusting and underhanded they are.


  31. John Kitchel says:

    GMO foods might have been developed for population control. Who knows how many people they will kill over time?


  32. Lana Kitchel says:

    This is sickening! And does this famous adage get modified now, too?

    “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”

    Perhaps it should morph into:

    “An apple a day keeps good health away.”


  33. Eat fresh


  34. Marta Harrison says:

    A former employee of Monsanto, Azevedo said, “I saw what was really the fraud associated with genetic engineering….But in reality, the process of genetic engineering changes the cell in such a way that it’s unknown what the effects are going to be.”

    That “unknown” factor is most troubling. No testing has been done to assure the apples’ safety in the long-term, and we know that scientists are seeing birth defects, high infant mortality rates, and sterility in hamsters, rats, and livestock fed genetically engineered soy and corn, and some hamster pups even started growing hair on the inside of their mouths!

    How is it possible in the United States, the greatest country in the world, would allow any genetic engineering food products to reach the market before testing its safety. I mean tests by independent organizations. Would you want your kid or sister to be adversely affected by these GMOs? Please, PLEASE, reconsider and do not permit this so-called apple to be put on the market. It must be tested first!

    Thank you.


  35. Ronn says:

    These “mad scientists” who are wreaking havoc with our foods don’t see them as precious things that nourish and sustain us, they see and treat them merely as objects to be tinkered and toyed with in order to make them more profitable. Money is all that matters to them; the future of the human race and our planet is not something they give the briefest of thoughts to. We are all victims of their greed. It’s no consolation to know that they themselves are too.


  36. Keep the apples natural. I will never purchase any GMO foods. Be it soy, corn, wheat, rice or anything they have messed with. We have so many illness now we don’t need to,create any more.


  37. Walter Gillmore says:

    GE crops are no more natural than dyed hair or tattoos, the only significant difference is that nobody has any idea of the side effects of GE modified food, whereas dyed hair is known to turn brittle and dry, (as well as change color); and tattoos can fester and create inflammation, as well as change the appearance of the skin.

    Stop messing with our food supply, and if you MUST experiment, tha prominently label the product so that the consumer knows what they are buying.


  38. John Smith says:

    ”No testing has been done to assure the apples’ safety in the long-term, and we know that scientists are seeing birth defects, high infant mortality rates, and sterility in hamsters, rats, and livestock fed genetically engineered soy and corn, and some hamster pups even started growing hair on the inside of their mouths.”
    More testing would be the responsable thing by the USDA. They should have the best interest of the people first and formost.


  39. Julie Amato says:

    I would really prefer non-genetically engineered apples…..thank you.


  40. Julie Amato says:

    I would REALLY prefer NATURAL, non-genetically engineered APPLES…..


  41. Roberta Richardson says:

    Please, no GMO apples! Please ban GMOs in the United States! Thank you.


  42. John Magee says:

    That’s sick! Why don’t you genetically modify water? You wanto to modify everything else! I think WE should genetically modify YOU! Genetically modify your own kids and stay away from mine!


  43. Doris says:

    A few years ago I worked at a middle school cafeteria.
    We had these sliced apples in plastic bags that we sometimes serve the kids with there lunch.
    The manager said they were a healthy snack for the preteens but it really really bothered me that the apple slices did not brown. When I slice apples at home they brown ,these did not.
    I told my kids about it and that I was Leary that the apples where not natural apples.
    Now there is a lot of issues with school food ,is it possible they were serving the children GMO apples?


  44. I checked out their facebook propaganda page. It was really creepy. Although, all the comments I read to their posts were from people just like me who were equally horrified at this new ‘invention’. I’ll definitely write to the USDA…when did eating real food require one to become an activist? I just want to eat food that won’t make me sick…is that too much to ask?


  45. Linda Reed says:

    An apple a day, lets keep Monsanto away!


  46. Do apple growers not see that they will be shooting themselves and everyone else in the FOOT…?
    If you can’t trust that a food stuff has or has not been contaminated —whether on purpose or by way of cross pollination, then you will buy something else you can trust. It will reduce our choices and theirs too when they have fewer trips to the bank.

    Where is our common sense and trust in nature as the evolutionary master?…we are not God and don’t even come close…Mother nature has been making mistakes and learning from them for millennium…evolution is the key to success…not blind manipulation of recombinant DNA…that is Rotten Roulette…we need to stand on Mom nature’s shoulders to get the bigger picture…not blind side her after we have crippled her with our toxins.



  47. Rick Zuber says:

    This is what the sci-fi movies were made about when I was a kid. Mad Scientists either knowingly or unknowingly threatening the world.

    What I want is an apple that tastes like a prime rib steak, never spoils, grows three times as fast as a regular apple, and five times larger, produces it’s own pesticide and an array of pharmaceutical drugs used to manage a host of diseases caused by the consumption of genetically manipulated ‘foods’.


  48. Stacy Peck says:

    I strongly disagree with genetic engineering. I want to be able to give my family fruit and vegetables that have all the benefits of fruit and vegetables. Brown apples are not a big deal, but the results of playing with genetics could be. As an aspiring vegan, I need to know that my fruits and veggies are just as God made them, and not something created in a lab. Please do not allow genetic engineering in apples or any other fruits and vegetables.


  49. Liz Murphy says:

    Please do not genetically alter apples. I have developed allergies to soy and corn already, and I do not want to lose my ability to eat an apple. Please leave the apples, and soy and corn as God intended them to be.


  50. Michelle Wilson says:

    I am so sick and tired of GMO foods. I do not like the fact that all these companies think it is okay to poison us with GMO food. I avoid GMO like the plague and it all needs to be labeled and stop messing with our food!


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