At the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), fruit growers have asked the government to de-register the genetically modified (GM) Arctic Apple until further studies can be conducted.

The GM Arctic Apple was modified so that it doesn’t brown or bruise. The compound within apples that is responsible for browning is removed. The only problem is that this same compound also helps the apples to naturally fight off pests and disease. It was also created using untested, extremely new biotechnologycalled RNA interference, or double strand RNA (dsRNA).

The association’s president Fred Steele writes:

 “The organic tree fruit sector is extremely concerned about the introduction of the GMO Arctic Apple. Therefore be it resolved that the BCFGA request government de-register the Arctic Apple immediately.”

At the meeting, the Association will ask the government to place a moratorium on future genetically engineered tree fruit pending further scientific research into health and environmental impacts as well as probable effects on the trade and consumer opinion of such GM fruit.

Like other GM foods, the GMO Arctic® Apple will be sprayed heavily with pesticides, which, in and of themselves, pose serious health risks. They will likely be offered at a lower price than organic apples, but even without the browning after you slice them, they are likely to be less nutrient-dense, since Mother Nature’s foods are created to withstand pestilence by having high levels of phytonutrients.

Take them away, and not only do you weaken the plant, but also destroy the nutrition inherent within them. Here are just a few examples of this phenomenon:

  • GM soy has 12.14% lower levels of cancer-fighting isoflavones than non-GM soy.
  • Canola (oilseed rape) engineered to contain vitamin A in its oil has much reduced vitamin E and an altered oil-fat composition, compared with the non-GM counterpart.
  • Experimental GM rice varieties have unintended major nutritional disturbances compared with non-GM counterparts, although they were grown side-by-side in the same conditions. The structure and texture of the GM rice grain was affected and its nutritional content and value were dramatically altered. The variation ranged from 20 to 74% for amino acids, from 19 to 38% for fatty acids, from 25 to 57% for vitamins, from 20 to 50% for nutritionally-important trace elements, and 25% for protein. GM rice varieties variously showed markedly decreased levels of vitamin E, protein, and amino acids.

The AGM took place on Jan 29th and 30th at the Ramada Kelowna Hotel and Conference Centre in Kelowna.


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This post originally appeared at Natural Society