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Arctic Apples, a New Genetically Modified Organism

Cynthia is a gardening enthusiast. She has a green thumb and always plants a variety of items for harvesting during gardening season.

Genetically Modified Apples, Already Passed by the USDA

This is kind of how I view all genetically modified organisms,  deep dark unknown variety of food!

This is kind of how I view all genetically modified organisms, deep dark unknown variety of food!

Latest Genetically Modified Organism, The Arctic Apples

You may not be aware but more genetically modified foods are hitting the market, all the time. The latest genetically modified food, artic apples are expected to be available to small test markets sometime in 2016.

Before I even dig into the details of the most current genetic manipulation of our food. I must admit the positive position of most of the articles relating to these Arctic Apples and the genetic modifications, are very concerning.

If you "Google" Arctic Apples, the search results for promoting this genetically modified food are staggering! Hopefully more of those that appose genetically modified organisms, will speak up and produce more articles to the contrary.

GMO Apples Will Be Available In Small Test Markets In 2016

Two new Genetically Modified Arctic Apple Varieties are scheduled to be available in 2016.

Two new Genetically Modified Arctic Apple Varieties are scheduled to be available in 2016.

Genetically Modified Apples

Hopefully if you made your way to this hub, then you have already read my GMO article, and have a basic idea of what type of manipulation is happening to the foods we eat.

The reason behind the new Arctic Apple being genetically modified is that once an apple is sliced they quickly start to turn brown. You know how an apple tends to get the dark 'sugar spots' once it has set for a little while after cutting or being bitten. The new and supposedly improved Arctic Apples, will not brown like their natural counterparts. They will resist fungus and be more shelf stable and resist softening.

These genetically modified versions were created by the Canadian biotech company Okanagan Specialty Fruits. This decision was referred to by the companies president Neal Carter as being 'A Monumental Occasion' and the biggest milestone yet for us, and we can’t wait until they’re available for consumers.

Okanagan is hoping to sidestep all the Anti-GMO campaigns by only using other fruit genes in the manipulation of the Arctic Apples DNA. It still seems unnatural to create a modified organism and we are taking all this on faith from what the company is telling us. Yet it is considered a "natural" modification of the apple in order to produce a "non-browning" crop.

Honestly why is browning such an issue, how often do you not eat an apple fast enough that it gets to browned to eat? We have several apple trees on our farm and I eat them all the time during growing season (I even eat them before they are ready, I love sour apples!). Sure they get a little brown to them while I eat them, though it does not effect the taste of the apple at all!

This is a great example of the "perfection" that causes 32% of the food in the United States to be thrown out, only to end up in landfills. $162 Billion dollars worth of food is thrown away because it is not "visually appealing". It makes me sick to even research the amount of foods so easily thrown away by the masses. When one in eight people, will starve to death, that is more than 13% of the overall population each year.

Why are we allowing more GMO varieties that push the "perfectionism" of foods to be grown and commercially sold? Imagine how much money was spent on the two decades of research in order to create these new GMO Arctic Apples. I bet that could have fed a lot of starving people around the world.

A bit off topic but you get the point I am trying to make. For centuries we have been enjoying the fruits nature provides, why the need to play with our fruits, vegetables and grain crops? The argument to support the ongoing creation of genetically modified organisms is supply and demand, along with long term sustainability. By altering these seeds and plants to be resistant of pests and weeds and drought we can grow more crops to feed the masses. Masking it as a hunger and starvation issue, yet look at how many people are still starving every year all over the world!

So now we will add an addition to the 80% of crops being grown, that are already genetically modified organisms, with the addition of the non browning Article Apples.

Imagine the next time you are enjoying your favorite apple, you may just be ingesting antibiotic resistance!

Imagine the next time you are enjoying your favorite apple, you may just be ingesting antibiotic resistance!

Arctic Apple

Throughout my research the one thing I find that is the most concerning is that extra copies of the polyphenol oxidase gene as well as nptII, neomycin phosphotransferase type II gene, from E. coli Tn5 into the DNA of the Arctic Apples!

E. coli as far as most people are concerned is BAD! So why would we want it in our apple trees? If that is not concerning enough they have also been manipulated to grow on a medium that contains the antibiotic Kanamycin. Kanamycin is not in anyway beneficial to the apple trees. Yet every cell in the apple tree and the fruit will be resistant to Kanamycin antibiotics. Kanamycin is used to treat infections in HUMANS. While ingesting these apples you are ingesting a bacteria that can ultimately cause resistance to an antibiotic you may indeed need one day.

Then think about that resistance then being passed to the soil and then draining to any nearby water source. We all to often turn a blind eye to things like this. It does not just impact the plant itself- it impacts everything the plant has contact with- soil, water etc.

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GMO Arctic Apples In New York!

As I mentioned earlier this particular genetic modification has been worked on for decades. The biotech Okanagan has already been growing test plots of Arctic Granny and Arctic Golden varieties, a few acres in New York and Washington state.

Of course they did obtain the proper USDA permits in doing so. However, I wonder how many citizens were aware of this "GMO" manipulation in their back yards!

This was done to document how the trees would react to various climates. As well as identifying how they produce in those climates.


Two Varieties Of Genetically Modified Apples

You can expect to see Arctic Granny and Arctic Golden varieties of Apples in small test markets sometime in 2016. The main focus right now is for the biotech company to work with farmers on planting the trees. Since it takes some time for an apple tree to grow and produce they are projecting 2016 as the year this GMO will roll out, and be available for purchase.

These test groups will be small in order guage the publics response to the apples.

From my research so far Mcdonalds and Gerber have not rejected these GMO arctic apples. Although there are a few misleading articles that would have you believe Gerber did in fact reject the product, it just is not the case.

As a parent this is concerning, we do not eat Mcdonalds foods, however we did use gerber products when my son was small. I would have find other baby foods if we decided to have more children and Gerber decides to greenlight the Arctic Apple proposal.

Simply put with these apples "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" may no longer be the case, if we start to build antibiotic resistance as a result of consumption.

With antibiotic resistance already being a huge issue globally, I cannot see adding to the problem by allowing these genetically modified apples in my home. You will have to decide what is right for you and your family of course, I am only offering the information to educate those that may not be in the know.

Wildlife will be ingesting the antibiotic resistance as well!

Hopefully you can see that not only humans are effected but wildlife as well!

Hopefully you can see that not only humans are effected but wildlife as well!

Knowledge is power. The reason so many GMOs exist and no label is required, is that the general population has been kept in the dark for so long!

More Genetic Manipulation Of Apples

While you can expect to hear or see the two GMO Arctic apples I mentioned before in 2016.

Testing has already began on other apple varieties like fuji and gala as well as many other fruits like oranges. So it is only a matter of time before our local market is filled with even more GMO products.

It makes you wonder why the FDA requires labeling on over 3,000 ingredients and yet they do not require it for GMO foods.

As of March 20th these GMO apples have been approved for Canada as well.

If this is as concerning to you as I find it, then I suggest visiting to find tips and information on shopping for NON-GMO foods.

Please feel free to comment! I appreciate any and all feedback good or bad!

Arctic Apple GMOs

Rachel Parent is a 15 year old teen activist fighting for the labeling of GMO foods in Canada!

Say No To GMO

Now we arrive at the "what to do portion". By now I hope you are wondering what can be done about GMO foods. In the United States very few states have actually passed legislation to make labeling GMO foods mandatory.

A disturbing fact is that over 60 total countries have either partial BANS or have totally BANNED GMO foods. Why is America and the FDA so dead set against merely labeling the GMO products when so many countries have banned them!

If you are interesting in working towards legislation in your state to require labeling on a state level or even just in your city The Center For Food Safety website is a great place to start. They can help show you the way! You can also contact them via email for information at

You may also be interesting in checking out the "Kids Have A Right To Know Club".

It really is up to you what you decide to put in your body, no one can tell you what is right for you- but you! I hope that this article at least gets you thinking of the ramifications of genetically modifying our foods. I have an article that further explains GMOs and the industry you can access it here.

© 2015 Cynthia Hoover


Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on August 07, 2015:

Interesting piece, thank you for educating the public. Yes, when I think of all the food that is wasted, I cringe for humanity. People's priorities are messed up. I have a relative who says my compost heap is "disgusting" yet she herself overeats at every turn and throws away all sorts of food, that's pretty disgusting to me. Anyway, only a completely money-washed business person could collude with a similarly washed scientist to come up with an e. coli apple! Sheesh!

Thanks for the quality investigative writing, well done.


Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on March 25, 2015:

Thank you Babbyii I agree and will be trying to do the same here on the farm. I would rather have plenty to give away than be forced to buy GMO. Kristen you are very welcome! Thank you for voting up!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on March 23, 2015:

Great hub Cynthia. It's real fascinating and interesting to learn about those kind of apples. Voted up!

Barb Johnson from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula on March 23, 2015:

I was thinking the same thing. If you can afford to, buy a few, just in case. You want to insure you have a good supply of healthy ones for the unforeseeable future.

Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on March 22, 2015:

Dmitry, it should be fine, these are not scheduled to be available till 2016. You may want to grab another tree before the GMO variety hits the market!

Dmitry Kresin from Ukraine on March 22, 2015:

I have just planted Granny Smith near my house... Does anybody know is it GMO or not?

Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on March 20, 2015:

Babbyii I agree, very disappointing. I kind of think of it like- "if it ain't broke don't fix it". There are so many serious issues that need attention and yet billions of dollars are spent on the next GMO and GMO propaganda.

Barb Johnson from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula on March 20, 2015:

I read a book about an apple orchard family business (don't recall the name) a few years ago. Although it was fiction, you know all the research that had to go into it. That book had me worried. I already scrub my apples as it is and it never seems enough. Thanks for the heads up Cynthia! Helpful information although very disappointing. Makes me want to cry.

Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on March 20, 2015:

Thank you for the vote melissae1963!

Melissa Reese Etheridge from Tennessee, United States on March 20, 2015:

This is an interesting and well written HUB. Voted up and interesting.

Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on March 20, 2015:

Sam I can't tell you if you should worry. That is a choice you will need to make for you, not because someone tells you to. What worries me the most is that GMOs are blindly approved with no long term tests as to if they are indeed safe or unsafe. I have found evidence that Bt cotton (GMO) has been responsible for many animal deaths, causing me to worry about the safety of our foods that were altered in the same way. We all know we are supposed to wash produce because of pesticides, yet GMOs produce pesticides in the plants/crops - I can't wash it off if it is part of the plant. Although GMOs are just part of it-meats from animals that ingest GMO corn and other feeds are also a concern (for me). All I can really say is try eating non-GMO for a month and I know for me, my overall health improved, worth trying for sure. I rarely ever get sick. Before my pregnancy it had been around 10 years since I needed to see a DR for anything! Buying local is great, you are helping to support local growers and organics! I do know NY offers grants for rooftop gardens etc maybe worth looking into if you have an interest in organics. Today 90% of farms are owned by big business, they used to be 100% farmer owned. Crops are just profits these days.

Lincoln from New York on March 20, 2015:

I was just thinking about GMOs the other day. I try to buy local buy sometimes it's hard. On a scale of 1-10 how important/life-threatening GMOs are? Should I really be worrying?

Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on March 18, 2015:

Thanks for cemmenting DebMartin! I agree! I even watched an apple of mine that my son ate half of late in the day- I left it overnight in purpose rather than giving to our goat like usual. The next day it was not very brown at all!

DebMartin on March 18, 2015:

Exactly what I wanted to know when I heard about these apples. What's wrong with browning? My great grandmother used to keep plastic fruit in a bowl on her dining room table. Thought it was nice decoration. Sort of reminds me of fruit that won't spoil. Sheesh!

Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on March 17, 2015:

Peacpurple you are right, but 80% of our foods contain GMOs and more pushing for approval all the time.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on March 16, 2015:

good thing that not all items are GMO yet

Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on March 15, 2015:

Jaye and Matt I agree with you both! I really hope people start looking into the Non-GMO movements and move to an organic lifestyle! I am lucky enough to be growing many fruit trees and berry bushes free from GMOs and I use no pesticides. People are often led to believe that going organic is more expensive- untrue especially if you can find it locally at a farm or farmers market. People are blinded by the agencies and corruption and follow without question. Just because "they" say I should eat it "its safe" is sadly the general populations justification for following without demanding proof that it is safe! Thank you Jaye for voting up!

Matthew A Easterbrook from Oregon on March 14, 2015:

Jaye has it right. I buy from my local farmers market and local farmers to include grass fed beef. Cynthia and Jaye we all come from the same roots and that is "organic all the way". Organic is a life style and it is easy once you get in the routine. I have even found out that organic is not always more expensive and even if it is a little bit more in the long run you are healthier and there is no price for health.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on March 14, 2015:

Any American who trusts the corrupt FDA, USDA and even EPA agencies is suffering from "ostrich syndrome." Money speaks, and huge corporations are lining pockets in Washington to protect their obscene profits. The only way we can protect ourselves and our families is to eat organic food--preferably locally-grown.

I eat an apple every day, but I only buy organic ones to avoid both pesticide residues and GMOs. In fact, nearly everything I consume is certified organic.

There is a growing grassroots movement in this country to force our lackadaisical government to protect our food supply. Please join in this movement. There is strength in numbers!

Thanks for this informational hub. Voted Up+++


Matthew A Easterbrook from Oregon on March 14, 2015:

Cynthia you are right about those agencies. Thanks again for your well researched article-hub.

Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on March 14, 2015:

Sounds like a good statement right there- if it is a GMO you would find no worm. Thank you for your comment Matt! I am glad you are a natural and healthy advocate too! I am reading more disturbing things about GMO and GE. I was hoping to have another article published about it already. Yet I found more information I want to include- it is alarming to say the least and lack of awareness is a huge problem. We are expected to accept the USDA and FDA approvals as "safe" yet there is a huge lack of data to support the "safety" of the products they approve.

Matthew A Easterbrook from Oregon on March 13, 2015:

Thank you Cynthia for another amazing, interesting, and useful hub. I am against GMO's the more natural the more healthy. Buddy Guy a famous Blues Artist made a statement and that was "If apiece of corn has a worm or you can see where he ate its probably healthy". I think that was a little extreme, but he does have a pretty good idea and ideology on healthy eating.

Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on March 13, 2015:

travmaj thank you for the vote and share! I am glad you have a local place to purchase your produce! I am lucky enough to have a few apple trees, cherry trees and berry bushes here, from well before the GMO era began. That is why I find it so concerning that people be made aware, so many folks just do not know. It is sort of "hush hush" if you will. Weeding through the propaganda and biased information on GMOs has been an interesting journey. If the "DARK" legislation is passed, then we could all be eating more and more GMOs without knowing it!

Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on March 13, 2015:

That is great thefedorows best wishes to you on your journey for knowledge! That is exactly what I had hoped my articles would do, not that people would take my writing as gospel. But that it would inspire then to find out more on their own ! I am hopeful to finish a 3rd GMO related article today (assuming my little man takes a good nap lol). It will be a good read (I hope) I will cover the back ground of GMOs and additional information. There is so much to learn about the genetic manipulation and engineering of our foods that it is impossible to fit it all in one hub. Thank you again, I really appreciate the comment!

travmaj from australia on March 13, 2015:

Yes, I am concerned about GMO products - I was only vaguely aware before reading your article. I live near several small apple orchards and buy my fruit and juice there, still untouched by this procedure. I thank you for making me aware. Most informative. Sharing.

thefedorows from the Midwest on March 13, 2015:

Cynthia, thank you for sharing this information. We have just begun to dip our toes into learning about GMOs and found your hub very interesting and informative. We will look more into the links you included!

Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on March 13, 2015:

You want to look for a 5 digit PLU code that starts with a 9 (95067 for example) this will tell you the produce was grown organically and is not a GMO. You would find it on the little stickers on fruit at the market. I am not sure how the PLU code runs on bagged fruits- I will be looking when I head to the market next and let you know. The "arctic apple" GMOs are scheduled to hit markets in "2016" if this gets moved up I will update the article as well. Always look for "Certified 100% Organic" to avoid GMO products or purchase from local farms, farmers markets and growing your own crops are the best options. Often items that say only "organic" still contain 30% GMO traits. When the arctic apple rolls out it is supposed to be labeled as a GMO. Although GMOs are not required to be labeled, so I remain sceptic that they will follow through after the test market! Thank you for voting up Rachel L Alba!

Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on March 13, 2015:

I just made applesauce today with Granny Smith apples. I wish I read this hub first. lol Does it say on the bag if GMO is used? I'll have to dig the plastic bag out of the garbage and see if it does. Thanks again for the warning. I voted up and useful.

Blessings to you

Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on March 13, 2015:

liesl5858 Thank you for the vote! I am glad my articles are helping you to have a better understanding of GMOs are and the lack of research to determine if they are safe for humans, ecosystems and animals! I really appreciate the share!

Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on March 13, 2015:

Thank you Cynthia, for this interesting hub about GMO apples, I had no idea to be honest about GMO's but through your hubs, I might understand a little bit more about it. I have voted up and shared.

Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on March 13, 2015:

Thank you Longtimemother! After the comments on my first GMO article I was shocked by how many people had no clue What a GMO is and that they eat them everyday! I really can't thank you enough for the share!! Creating awareness is the goal :)

LongTimeMother from Australia on March 13, 2015:

Voted up and sharing. :)

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