Below is my comment submitted to the USDA’s APHIS division during the final comment period for the Arctic® Apple, slated to come to market in the US. The nay-sayers don’t like this apple simply because they don’t like anything associated with biotechnology or genetic engineering.
In the world of anti-GMO activism, the entire technology is painted with one large black and horrific brushstroke mixed on top of a pallette of fear. This pallette typically contains a rainbow of myth, tweaked science experiments and grand assertions void of data . It is no secret that I find this terribly sad – and a mad waste of human resources and money. The recent GMO-labeling initiative 522 in Washington, my neighbor state to the north, is an example of the monetary resources being drained to legislate this issue – from both sides. The campaign broke spending records with around 20 million spent by the no on 522 folks. The yes side spent about 8 million .
I am but one voice of many but I do fully support the Arctic Apple and the technology behind it. This is not an attack on nature, not some abhorrent slap in the face to God, but a step toward better, smarter farming. And the one thing that this GMO has that others have been accused of NOT having is a direct benefit to the consumer.
My comment is from the point of view of an every day consumer anxious to have the opportunity to choose this superior apple. There is much more I could have said, but I kept it pretty personal and simple with the focus on how it would affect my own life.
I am submitting a comment in favor of the Arctic Apple coming to market. This apple will provide an attractive and delicious healthy snack alternative to children and adults as well as eliminate the need to discard huge amounts of apples that have been bruised.
I work in a school and spend lunch with 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. They eat very little off of the produce cart. If there are ever apples, and there rarely are, the apples are treated with the acid powder that keeps them from turning brown. This affects the flavor and the apples are unappealing once the kids bite into them. They have good intentions when they choose the apple slices but are disappointed when they bite in and they don’t finish them. Apple slice after apple slice hit the garbage.
It’s time that school children had a choice of ready-to-eat sliced apples that look AND taste good. My understanding is that they could even be packaged and put into vending machines. This would be one fewer package of junk food that a 12-year-old could choose.
I personally am anxious to consume this product. I recently threw a party and wanted to serve sliced apples with carmel sauce. I bought a pre-sliced platter from the store and was terribly disappointed at the bitter and lackluster flavor of the apples that had been treated with the acid powder.
I am aware that there is much controversy that surrounds these apples but the truth is that it is built on misinformation, hype, fear and psuedoscience. The mechanism by which the enzymatic browning is suppressed is not understood by the anti-GMO public. They are fighting against a product that has much promise and would help them, and they don’t even know it. They need to be educated about what these apples really are. After years of study and careful research, there is absolutely no evidence of harm in eating these apples. There is no reason to fear them.
Please don’t let prejudice and fear keep a really great product from coming to market in the US.
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 Myth example: Monsanto sues organic farmers when GM seeds inadvertently blows onto their fields. This is simply not true. Since filed court cases are a matter of public record, it is reasonable to deem Monsanto’s own website as an accurate source of what lawsuits they’ve filed. They write:
Since 1997, we have only filed suit against farmers 145 times in the United States. This may sound like a lot, but when you consider that we sell seed to more than 250,000 American farmers a year, it’s really a small number. Of these, we’ve proceeded through trial with only eleven farmers. All eleven cases were found in Monsanto’s favor. More information here.
 Tweaked science experiment example: Seralini’s lumpy rats. I am assuming readers are familiar with this study. Here are just a few of many groups strongly rebuking this study:
-Food Safety News (this article breaks down the EFSA findings)
 Example of grand assertions void of data: Samsel and Seneff’s report “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases,” did much to scare the heck out of many people but there is no data to back up the claims.
Here are three reviews on glyphosate and human safety published online:
• Pamela J. Mink, Jack S. Mandel, Bonnielin K. Sceurman, Jessica I. Lundin. Epidemiologic studies of glyphosate and cancer: A review.
• Pamela J. Mink, Jack S. Mandel, Jessica I. Lundin, Bonnielin K. Sceurman. Epidemiologic Studies of Glyphosate and Non-Cancer Health Outcomes: A Review.
• Amy Lavin Williams, Rebecca E. Watson, John M. DeSesso. Developmental and Reproductive Outcomes in Humans and Animals After Glyphosate Exposure: A Critical Analysis