GMO Apples Hit American Stores This Month: How and Why to Avoid Them

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

By Daisy Luther

If a food company invented a new version of a typical food and then packaged it in a box without the ingredients etc. listed on the packaging, there would be quite the outcry.

So why is it that Okanagan Speciality Fruits is allowed to market a new variety of GMO apples without telling people the reason they’re so “special” is that they are genetically modified?

While the fruit won’t be explicitly labeled as a GMO product, that information will be available by scanning a QR code on the packaging. “We are selling it under the Arctic brand and we’ve had a lot of press and attention, so I assume most people will know what it is,” company founder Neal Carter said. (source)

Note Neal Carter’s words: “most people will know what it is.”

So how, exactly, will “most people know” that the fruit they’re buying has been tampered with? Are we actually supposed to carry around a QR scanner at the store to figure out what the heck we’re buying?

What apple varieties should you look out for?

To most folks, a Golden Delicious apple is a Golden Delicious apple. And there are more fruity bullets to dodge than just the Golden Delicious. (If you’re wondering why I’m so against the genetic modification of our food, here’s a documentary you should really check out.)

By next year, there could be four different apple varieties to dodge in stores if you want to keep your diet free of genetically modified ingredients.

Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Fuji varieties have been approved by the USDA and Canada. An Arctic Gala could be approved in 2018. Only Goldens and Granny Smiths have been planted long enough to produce fruit in commercial quantities by next fall. (source)

The Frankenfruit, which was 20 years in the making, was approved for sale in February 2015 by the Department of Agriculture. The FDA ruled them fit for human consumption a month later.

This FDA press release was dated March 20, 2015:

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration completed its evaluation for two varieties of apples genetically engineered by Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc., and for six varieties of potatoes genetically engineered by J. R. Simplot Company and concluded that these foods are as safe and nutritious as their conventional counterparts.

Okanagan’s Granny Smith and Golden Delicious varieties of apples, known collectively by the trade name “Arctic Apples,” are genetically engineered to resist browning associated with cuts and bruises by reducing levels of enzymes that can cause browning.

What the heck did they do to these GMO apples?

The apples in question have been altered to prevent them turning brown once they ‘ve been sliced. The apples will be sliced and packaged then shipped to 10 unnamed stores in the Midwest that will be stocking them.

There has been no word as yet about when the company will start marketing the whole apples as opposed to bags of sliced apples but you can bet it won’t be too far in the future as the company plans to plant a veritable forest of apple trees:

Right now, they are limited to a relative handful of trees (orchards in British Columbia and 85,000 trees in Washington state), but the company plans on planting hundreds of thousands more in the next few years in order to boost their supply. (source)

And if you’re wondering why pre-sliced apples are a necessity in our world, company founder Neal Carter explained:

“We know that in a convenience-driven world, a whole apple is too big of a commitment.”

And yes, he actually said that. I swear. You can find it here. (Insert deep sigh for humanity that can’t slice an apple.)

Here’s the genetic modification they made to the apples.

Apples turn brown when they are sliced, and the slice is exposed to air. The discoloration is due to a polyphenol called polyphenol oxidase. This enzyme has been silenced at the genetic level. You can read a good explanation of the full process from James Vincent at The Verge.

Here’s why this is not a good thing.

Back in 2000, Cornell University performed a study in which they discovered that polyphenols and flavonoids are responsible for many of the health benefits associated with apples. In fact, the lead on the study. Rui Hai Liu, said:

“Scientists are interested in isolating single compounds — such as vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene — to see if they exhibit anti-oxidant or anti-cancer benefits. It turns out that none of those works alone to reduce cancer. It’s the combination of flavonoids and polyphenols doing the work.”

Lee began studying the enzymatic browning action of apples about 15 years ago, identifying a variety of phenolic compounds and learning how these chemicals work during the apple’s browning action. (source)

While it’s important to note that some of the Cornell research was backed by fruit growers in the apple industry, in this case, they were hoping for proof of what they thought all along: apples are a healthy addition to our diet. Learning that fresh apples inhibited tumor growth was a happy side discovery in that study.

When biotech steps in, it’s profit over people.

The Cornell study was looking for positive benefits.

In contrast, the agricultural biotech company that created the Arctic Apple was working on “developing tree fruit varieties with novel attributes that benefit fruit producers and consumers alike.”

Let’s translate that.

They wanted to create an apple with a longer shelf life. This extended shelf life will mean less money wasted when they pass on the older stock to unsuspecting customers.

It’s a well-known fact that the older a fruit is, the less of the original nutrients remain.

After picking, fruits and vegetables continue to breathe. This process, called respiration, breaks down stored organic materials, such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and leads to loss of food value, flavor and nutrients. Produce will lose heat from this respiration as well as moisture, which is one way nutrients are lost. Warm, dry air can speed this process considerably, so keeping produce cool and moist is beneficial in most cases. (source)

They also wanted an apple that could be sliced and bagged and sold for far more money than just an ordinary apple gotten from a stack at the store. Because, you know, it’s a “commitment.”

When you alter the genetics of a food for profit without regard to changes in nutritional value, you’re headed toward a slippery slope down to Soylent Green. The book Altered Genes, Twisted Truth talks about this:

It tells the fascinating and frequently astounding story of how the massive enterprise to restructure the genetic core of the world’s food supply came into being, how it advanced by consistently violating the protocols of science, and how for more than three decades, hundreds of eminent biologists and esteemed institutions have systematically contorted the truth in order to conceal the unique risks of its products–and get them onto our dinner plates.

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth provides a graphic account of how this elaborate fraud was crafted and how it not only deceived the general public, but Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Barack Obama and a host of other astute and influential individuals as well. The book also exposes how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was induced to become a key accomplice–and how it has broken the law and repeatedly lied in order to usher genetically engineered foods onto the market without the safety testing that’s required by federal statute. As a result, for fifteen years America’s families have been regularly ingesting a group of novel products that the FDA’s own scientific staff had previously determined to be unduly hazardous to human health.

This book is so worth the read if you are interested in the hoax being perpetrated every single day in our grocery stores.

I could find no information about the nutrient content of these newfangled GMO apples, but given the absence of the essential enzyme polyphenol, I have to wonder if you’d get just about as much nutrition munching on sliced styrofoam as you would eating pre-sliced Arctic Apples.

How can you avoid GMO apples?

First, skip the convenience foods. Don’t purchase those little bags or lunch packs of apple slices. If you want to pre-slice apples (say, for a child’s lunch at school) sprinkle them with a little bit of lemon juice. If you start eating an apple and find it is “too big of a commitment” (I really can’t let that go) then you can put it in the freezer for 20 minutes or so to prevent browning. Any longer than that, however, and it will freeze.

Secondly, watch for the word “Arctic” on labels, stickers, and signs. Initially, the only Arctic Apples for sale will be the Golden Delicious variety. Coming soon, however, you’ll need to watch out for all of these varieties:

  • Golden Delicious
  • Granny Smith
  • Fuji
  • Gala

The best choice of all it to buy your apples from a local orchard. (Use this tool to find farms and orchards near you.) There, you can often talk to the grower and find out about his practices. Usually, they’re happy to discuss varieties, what kind of sprays they use, and when the apples were picked. I buy “older” apples that have been in cold storage from my local orchards because at least I know they’re actually from the previous season, instead of more than a year old like many that make it to the stores. (Often the bagged apples at the grocery stores are the oldest.)

You can also preserve apples when you get them in the fall. Here are some instructions for canning homemade applesauce and some instructions for dehydrating apple slices. (Although the dehydrated slices certainly don’t last long at our house.)

Would you knowingly eat GMO apples?

I’m always interested to hear your opinions on these topics. Would you feed your family apples that have been genetically modified if you were aware of it? Or do you think it’s no big deal? Share your opinion in the comments below.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • I will be watching for these apples and will make a point not to purchase. Am very interested in the potato side of this as well. I am a huge potato consumer.

    • YES, absolutely, I’ll also be looking out. Won’t be buying any golden delicious, granny smiths, Fuji or gala’s. Don’t want GMO.
      Would like more info of the potatoes as well.
      Buying from the local farmer or farmer’s market would see like the smartest, most sensible thing to do, b/c the apples in the stores are probably older and have lost their nutritional value which is probably why we should be eating them to begin with…

    • I was going to ask the same thing about potatoes. I googled the Simplot company, but got nowhere with finding out about their GMO potatoes.
      Do you know the names and where they’re grown???

      As for willingly eating anything genetically modified??? Heck NO.

    • I eat Ambrosia and Honey Crisp apples. We don’t eat potatoes that often at least I don’t , he eats them in a buffet restaurant. He likes Granny S. apples and sometimes Golden del. Since we are retirees, this may not effect us. Younger folks are at risk.. A good time to be child free. I would not raise kids today, too much environmental craziness and tampering with genetics on the food supply. We are child free because I chose working over parenting.

    • How do YOU know that the growers aren’t SELLING us apple TREE Saplings (under 2 yrs), at OUR local nurseries or even Home Depot or Lowe’s?

  • As you say, all the more reason to buy local. I have started a small back-yard orchard as well, because I love some of the heirloom apples that don’t ship or store well–and horrors, some of them begin to brown before you can finish one! Such a commitment!

  • Well, I always slice my apples and leave them to turn brown before I eat them… now I can leave them to not turn brown. I always take a bite out of an apple and set it away to take another bite tomorrow… so this is great news that I don’t have to worry that it will turn brown because I stupidly didn’t consume it as I prepared it… science is wonderful, yes????

    • Countyguard:

      Whatever floats your boat, my friend. I guess you missed the part about it being stripped of valuable nutrients?

  • Urggggg, why are they making it so hard just to live a safe, normal life?
    I grow my own fruit, but it’s tough to keep apples to eat out of hand. I buy organic but now I’ll have to keep aware. Than
    Nks for the heads up.

  • There isn’t a chance in, well, you know where, that I would eat these, let alone give them to a child! The scientists, the growers, the USDA & the FDA should all be taken out & strung up!

    • I agree. GMO’s are one of the main reason that Bee’s are dying. When they go to pollinate corn, since it has its own pesticides (Yes when you eat GMO corn you are eating Pesticides.), if goes onto the next few to pollinate but after a few hours, it dies. GMO’s are so stupid and to think im only in middle/highschool and i know this stuff. GMO’s are so bad. Did you know that they injected Fish, FISH, DNA into tomatoes?

  • Thanks for the warnings. The suggestion to look for “Arctic” will work at the beginning, but when the producers & importers realize that people are avoiding the word “Arctic”, then they will drop that label and use something else. What I am going to do is buy a dozen apples, slice one open and let it sit for long enough to brown, and use that as my “marker” for GMO. If the sliced apple does not brown, then I will return the bag (including the sliced one) to the store for a refund claiming that the store failed to advise me that these apples were GMO. After the retailer gets hit in the pocket enough, then they will re-consider their sales of GMO apples.

  • I’m worried that the polyphenol silencing could be contagious or persistent so once one of these apples are consumed, the infected human body will silence the beneficial polyphenols contained in any foods that are subsequently consumed.

    I seriously doubt if the whorprit monsters even tested for that possibility.

    Another diabolical attack vector against the innocent.

  • I am angry too. I grew up with 4 apple trees, 1 pear, 1 plum and a huge garden. Our food is being ruined. Our government officials should be held accountable. This is affecting our soil, the nutrition and the future. How ignorant these people are to grow these things. It is getting so expensive to try to survive. We ought to be protesting and boycotting the GMO’s. I have 4 kids and 2 grandkids. I spend a lot of time gardening and cooking, canning and dehydrating. It shouldn’t have to be so hard. I think we need to complain to the stores, the producers and our government. Shame on them

  • I can’t wait to find an Artic Apple in my grocery! When I eat only half of a large apple and leave the remainder on my countertop, I can come back hours later and it will still be as beautiful as when I first sliced it. Isn’t science wonderful! Better check your facts, there is absolutely no difference in nutrition between a GMO and non-gmo apple or any other GMO food for that fact. And, there is not one documented case of anyone ever getting ill from eating GMO foods. Frankenfood, really?? It’s an apple! Now, thanks to science, it’s just keeps getting better!

      • Why do people approve of science and new technologies into every aspect of their life except for their food? Advances in medicine, communications, manufacturing and endless others are welcomed as bettering our lives. Scientists figured out how to turn off an enzyme, pure and simple, to prevent browning. How about we stop spreading fear and just stick with the facts. And you followers, why not do your own research before believing Ms. Daisy.

      • “Pat” is obviously a paid troll, using the same wording as “countyguard.” Not even passionate enough about the issue to use different wording under different monikers. Must be poorly paid by the MonSatanites. Best not to feed the troll…better to let the trolls die an unnatural death from lack of polyphenols.

      • I feel as though these comments supporting gmo apples are…almost robotic?? Don’t you think? I’m in the UK and I have a golden delicious that’s been sat next to me for almost 2 hours…I was suspicious because I got them at such a bargain! And welllllll…now I know why. They’re doing it to us bits too now.

    • Stop spreading your nonsense. The research proves you wrong. Apparently, you don’t do much reading.

  • HI Daisy- I don’t know if you will get to this comment, but I wanted to share what info. I have regarding GMO potatoes. The russet variety I purchase (in an effort to avoid GMOs) is a”Norkotah”. The “Burbank Russet” which is also widely marketed IS GMO. With Red potato varieties, although claimed to be discontinued, “Desiree” is also GMO. The variety is usually on a label attached to the actual bag clip. Other GMO potatoes that are currently marketed, are the “Ranger Russet”, and “Atlantic”. These are NOT ones that I have seen in the grocery store. Maybe it is more specifically for commercial use? Potandon Produce in Idaho Falls, ID has a line of organic potatoes, not sure how widely available. The Livestrong website has indicated that Conagra Foods and McCain, will not be using the new GM potato. Maybe this will give you a jumping of point in your research. 🙂

  • Hi Daisy. I appreciate all the research you put into your articles. I’m sure you know “why” GMO products make it to market. The agencies in charge haven’t made any mistakes in letting things through. Agenda 21 and 2030 come to mind. Money might be one incentive, but depopulation is the goal.
    Keep up the good work.

  • I remember buying sliced apples by the bag that did not brown several years ago, and all they used was Vitamin C to preserve it. Why is this being touted as some new concept by the GMO crowd? I do have to admit, the convenience of buying pre-sliced apples is real, especially if I want to use them in a sandwich for my bagged lunch every day. But I realize GMO’ers have no concern for the unknown effects on health and future farming conditions so I will avoid.

  • A couple of comments: The chance of a consumer actually seeing GMO apples in a grocery store (for the foreseeable future) is incredibly remote. When the current Arctic apple trees reach maturity (five years from now) the total production will be less than 1/10th of 1% of the total U.S. apple production. So five years for every 1,000 apples there might be one GMO apple. Second, I think you do a disservice by telling people to avoid pre-sliced apples. None of the available pre-sliced apple are made from GMO apples. Much better for convenience stressed shoppers to grab pre-sliced apples rather than junk snacks like candy. Third, the number of growers looking to plant GMO apples is also a fraction of a single percent. We have plenty of wonderful, new apple varieties coming to market that taste great and store well. We have zero interest in a GMO alternative.

  • By chance would ANYONE know if they are SELLING GMO apples at Nurseries, and Home Centers like Lowe’s & Home Depot?

  • Very nice article thank you for it. Granny smith is a great apple ???? can fight cancer its very sad they modify it. NWO wanna us sick!!! I’m going now to organic market to pick up my 8kg organic granny smith from Italy.

  • You cite decreased levels of polyphenol oxidase as a valid reason to avoid these apples but that sure sounds like a chemical to me! Isn’t less chemicals in food better?
    If someone told that polyphenol oxidase was being ADDED to some food you enjoy, you would probably flip out over that.

  • I have been trying to find a Apple that turns brown and oxidizes for a while now I’m very incensed. I had a grower tell me that the reason his Apple didn’t turn brown is because it must have been a highly acidic Apple. I do not want to eat and asked a dick Apple I do not want to eat at GMO Apple I do not want to eat an apple that does not bruised and turn brown. I am a person who eats an apple every single day and have been doing so my whole life I take a bite I set it down. When I go to pick it back up again it should have oxidized if it does not it goes in the garbage bin.

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