GM ap­ples ap­proved in US

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier

TheFed­er­a­tion des pro­duc­teurs de pommes du Que­bec (FPPQ) is not happy that the United States Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (USDA) has just ap­proved the grow­ing of two va­ri­eties of ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied ap­ples: Arc­tic Granny and Arc­tic Golden. Th­ese ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied va­ri­eties, which should come to the Amer­i­can mar­ket in five years, were ac­tu­ally de­vel­oped at a Bri­tish Colom­bian com­pany, Okana­gan Spe­cialty Fruits Inc. Mod­i­fied from Granny Smith and Golden De­li­cious ap­ples, they do not turn brown, con­sid­ered an ad­van­tage for ap­ple trans­form­ing op­er­a­tions. Un­like most GM foods that have added genes, th­ese GM ap­ples have had a gene deleted so they would pro­duce very lit­tle of the en­zyme that turns ap­ples brown.

The FPPQ is­sued a press re­lease af­ter the ap­ples were ap­proved last week, stat­ing “The FPPQ still op­poses ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied ap­ples com­ing to the mar­ket be­cause they be­lieve that con­sumers are dis­trust­ful of GM foods and that could have a neg­a­tive im­pact on the con­sump­tion and trade of ap­ples in Canada.” Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent poll, 69% of Canadian re­spon­dents were against the ap­proval of a ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied ap­ple by the Canadian gov­ern­ment and 91% want the Canadian gov­ern­ment to make the la­bel­ing of GM foods manda­tory.

“You have to look at the benefits and the risks but what strikes me as strange is that we al­ready have an ap­ple that doesn’t brown, the Cort­land. And peo­ple like the taste of Cort­lands, but if the Arc­tic Granny tastes like a Granny Smith…I can name two hun­dred kinds of ap­ples that taste bet­ter than Granny Smiths; it might be hard to mar­ket those ap­ples. I don’t know if the Fed­er­a­tion is just

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