Although anti-GMO activists will undoubtedly disagree, we here at ACSH compliment the FDA for its approval of genetically engineered (GMO) apples and potatoes.
Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples, which have been genetically engineered to resist browning when cut, will be sold under the name Arctic Apples. Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., a Canadian firm, developed these varieties. The changes involved lowering the activity of the apples enzymes that produce the browning, but didn t involve adding any new genes to the apples. The approval also means that trees bearing these new apples can now be grown in the United States.
The new varieties of potato known as Innate which we discussed earlier this year, will have several altered characteristics such as decreased production of acrylamide when fried (although acrylamide is not a carcinogen), as well as increased resistance to disease. These potatoes were developed by the JR Simplot Company, and were approved last fall by the USDA.
In their approval statement about these products, the FDA noted Foods derived from genetically engineered plants must meet the same legal standards, including safety standards, as foods derived from traditional plant breeding methods. While companies are not required to submit their data on GM products safety and nutritional content, both Simplot and Okanagan voluntarily did so, and the FDA encourages other companies to do the same.
ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava had this to say: We are very pleased that the FDA concurred with earlier decisions by the USDA to approve these new varieties of apples and potatoes. There is no reason other than unwarranted fear for consumers to avoid such products. Indeed, there is every reason to seek out and enjoy them.