(originally published on April 16, 2015, at The Daily Bell)
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away," goes the old adage. But with the advent of genetically modified apples courtesy of our friendly neighbors to the north, many health-conscious Americans worry that soon the opposite might be the case.
Here's the story in a nutshell: In February 2015, the USDA approved Arctic® apples created by Canada-based Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF) for sale in the US this year. What's so special about these apples is that they won't brown for days after they're sliced—ostensibly a great boon for consumers. And an even greater boon for the food service industry, which since its inception has apparently been gnashing its collective teeth at Mother Nature for having the audacity to insert a beauty stain like browning into an otherwise perfectly good piece of produce.
GMO-wary consumers aren't buying it, though. The fear that Arctic apples—which come in the Golden Delicious and Granny Smith varieties, with Gala and Fuji available soon—might harm the health of humans and pollinators alike has led to widespread public protest. So, could GMO apples potentially damage our health, or are they a great convenience we should wholeheartedly embrace?One of the first concerns, of course, is whether we'll be able to tell a rotting old apple from a freshly sliced one if both look equally perky, even after several days.