A NEW type of apple — the Arctic — has been developed in Canada that does not brown when sliced, diced or bruised.
Its breeders are confident the new Arctic varieties of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples will lure back consumers.
But the bad news, if you like your food tamper-free, is that Arctic apples have been bred using the latest in genetic engineering.
If approved — the agricultural biotech company Okanagan Specialty Fruits has applications before authorities in the US and Canada — it will be one of the first genetically modified foods sold ready to be eaten fresh and raw.
Okanagan is certain the non-browning apple will prove popular and help increase sales in the US, which have fallen 25 per cent in the past 30 years.
But it’s a development some Australian scientists, organic farming proponents and others concerned about the growing genetic manipulation of crops and food sources say is both unwanted and unwelcome.
Former CSIRO plant scientist Maarten Stapper, who five years ago claimed to have been drummed out for speaking out against GM-work, calls it scientific folly and dangerous to put such cutting-edge science into practice without adequate long-term trials.
The government’s new National Food Plan, which was released last Tuesday, argues for greater acceptance and use of GM higher-yielding, lower water-usage and disease-resistant crop varieties to help the nation’s farmers double food output by 2050.