It’s not illegal – but it is irresponsible; in the US online retailer Amazon has been selling a dried apple snack product made from the Arctic GMO apple without letting customers know that it’s GMO.
March 29, 2018 by Claire Robinson
GM Arctic apples are being sold on Amazon without disclosing that they are GM.
They are engineered not to brown when cut and thus are advertised as “preservative free”. There’s nothing illegal about this, since GM foods do not have to carry a GM label on the package in the US and the apples are not being sold outside the US.
However, selling GM Arctic apples unlabelled is irresponsible because they have not been safety tested in feeding trials on animals.
Nor have US regulators assessed the health or environmental risks of the GM technique used to develop them. GM Arctic apples are engineered using a gene-silencing technique called RNAi or RNA interference.
Independent scientists warn that products engineered using RNAi might silence the genes or otherwise affect the gene expression of non-target organisms. In this case, non-target organisms include humans who eat the apples.
Readers who share our concerns are recommended to leave a comment on the product page asking Amazon to inform consumers that these apples are GM.
Arctic apples are promoted as preventing waste, with promotional messages such as:
But Arctic apples are sold as slices inside plastic packaging. Indeed, the slices sold via Amazon don’t just come in one plastic package but as “multi-packs containing 12 individual serving bags”. Only 25% of all plastic is recycled or burned; the rest ends up in landfills and waterways.
Consumers who want naturally non-browning apples can buy a non-GMO apple called the Opal, which is sometimes available organically grown. GM salmon The Arctic apple was developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits, which was acquired in 2015 by biotech company Intrexon. Intrexon also owns the GM salmon firm AquaBounty.
You can find your MP and get in touch directly by visiting www.writetothem.com
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