The US Department of Agriculture has approved two varieties of genetically engineered non-browning apples for the production across the country.
According to the agency’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, the approval was granted after the clinical tests found that the apples didn’t pose any risk in the form of fungi, bacteria and other threats to other plants.
Hailing the agency’s decision, Neal Carter, president and founder of Okanagan Specialty Fruits, said it is a big day for the company as they have received the green signal after 57 months.
The Summerland-based fruits firm said that it will be marketing the genetically modified apples as Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny.
According to the reports, the genetically engineered apples are expected to be available in the market for the public by 2017.
The company developed the non-browning quality in the genetically modified apples by reducing the production of one of the enzymes in the fruit without affecting its nutrition value as well as its conventional taste.
According to the company, the Arctic Granny apples will resemble Granny Smith apples that avoid browning and the Arctic Golden apples resemble Golden Delicious ones that don’t go brown.
Mary Ellen Kustin, EWG senior policy analyst, said, “As we see this GMO fruit hit the stands, it only becomes more important to have a clear labeling requirement to ensure that American consumers have the information they crave and deserve to know”.
According to the fed decision, the genetically engineered foods are safe for consumption.