Saturday, November 30, 2013

GM Apples Headed for USDA Approval

UPDATE: Comment period extended to midnight tonight, December 16th. Get your comment in: Arctic dsRNA Apples -USDA Comments


Stop The Approval Of GM Apples

The USDA is poised to approve the first genetically modified apple.

We need your help today, right now, to tell the USDA to say no to GMO apples.

If approved, these genetically engineered apples could end up everywhere from school lunches to grocery stores, posing risks to our health, our environment and apple farmers across the United States.

This new GMO Arctic Apple® was engineered for purely cosmetic reasons -- it lacks the enzymes that cause apples to brown when cut. However, browning in apples can be prevented naturally by applying lemon juice or another source of vitamin C, making this new risky genetically engineered apple unnecessary.

Thanks to the help of thousands of people like you, McDonald’s and Gerber recently confirmed to Friends of the Earth that they have no plans to sell the GMO Arctic Apple® -- wisely siding with consumers and apple growers that are rejecting this risky, unnecessary, unlabeled apple.

But the USDA is not yet convinced and wants to know whether you want this GMO apple on the market. We need your voice now. Tell the USDA that the GMO Arctic Apple® should not be approved.

The GMO Arctic Apple® is a problem masquerading as a solution. Without natural browning, apples may look fresh when they are actually decaying. Scientists believe apples’ natural browning enzyme may help to fight diseases and pests, meaning that famers may have to increase their pesticide use on these new GMO apples. Apples already carry some of the highest levels of toxic pesticide residues, many of them linked to hormone disruption, reproductive harm and even ADHD.

Like other GMOs, it won’t be labeled and won’t have undergone independent safety testing -- regulators will rely on the company’s sole assessment that the apple is safe for human consumption.

Worse yet, this GMO apple was genetically engineered via a new, virtually untested experimental technique called RNA interference, which many scientists are concerned may have negative, unintended impacts on human health and the environment.

But it’s not too late to keep GMO apples off our plates -- we have until December 8th to tell the USDA to say no to this rotten idea.


Also See:

The Next Generation Of GMOs Could Be More Dangerous

The Very Real Danger Of Genetically Modified Foods

Excerpt from first link:

"UPDATE: Dr. Michael Hansen, Senior Scientist at Consumers Union wrote to me after this post was published with an important point about the significance of the Chinese study. While he agreed that the main implications relate to the possible risk from microRNA-based GM foods, he also felt that this study did make a new and somewhat startling finding regarding how plant genetic material affects humans. As he put it, the study “showed that the miRNA not only survived digestion [in humans] but also was taken up and moved to other parts of the body where a specific impact was noted."


Excerpt from second link

"Chinese researchers have found small pieces of rice ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the blood and organs of humans who eat rice. The Nanjing University-based team showed that this genetic material will bind to receptors in human liver cells and influence the uptake of cholesterol from the blood.

The type of RNA in question is called microRNA (abbreviated to miRNA) due to its small size. MiRNAs have been studied extensively since their discovery ten years ago, and have been implicated as players in several human diseases including cancer, Alzheimer's, and diabetes. They usually function by turning down or shutting down certain genes. The Chinese research provides the first in vivo example of ingested plant miRNA surviving digestion and influencing human cell function in this way.

Should the research survive scientific scrutiny -- a serious hurdle -- it could prove a game changer in many fields. It would mean that we're eating not just vitamins, protein, and fuel, but gene regulators as well.

That knowledge could deepen our understanding of many fields, including cross-species communication, co-evolution, and predator-prey relationships. It could illuminate new mechanisms for some metabolic disorders and perhaps explain how some herbal and modern medicines function.

This study had nothing to do with genetically modified (GM) food, but it could have implications on that front. The work shows a pathway by which new food products, such as GM foods, could influence human health in previously unanticipated ways."


The developers of the Arctic Apple silenced the gene sequence that creates the enzyme that browns the apple when it is exposed to oxygen after being cut. The result is a product that still rots according to the company but just doesn't display "outward signs of damage." This is absolutely unnecessary and could be potentially harmful to humans and other species that consume them as they do not know long term residual cumulative effects on humans and other species (such as bees) nor effects on conventional crops and trees that can be contaminated with gene pollution through pollination. Also, RNA interference is not regulated nor has it been adequately studied in regards to GM foods nor will these apples be distinguishable nor labelled. Although Arctic Apple did state that the word Arctic would supposedly precede the type of apple, so that can act as your warning if you know it is GMO...If.

I find it impossible that the USDA would approve this apple based on information that it was engineered with this RNA interference technique without knowing the consequences to the biosphere especially over time. However, we know as well how much the USDA is bought by the ag-bio lobby that only cares about quick profit. This is why we must voice our firm opposition to the approval of this unnecessary and potentially dangerous manipulated product once again being pushed for profit over principle. Shutting off a gene sequence does not guarantee that there will not be negative consequences to human digestion or other unintended consequences.

Anyone who tells you unequivocally that it is safe for all time is also not a real scientist...just a mouthpiece for the ag-bio lobby and believe me there are plenty of them crawling out of the woodwork in desperation of seeing the worldwide rejection of their unprincipled folly. The lack of precautionary principle regarding this is also immoral to the extreme. However, if this is approved which really would not surprise me since these companies already own our agencies I know I will be sure to cut every apple in the store before I buy it to wait to see if it browns. If it does I'll buy it. If not, NO SALE. It is therefore good to know companies like Gerber are pledging not to use them or any GMOs in their foods. Scientists should be working on ways to actually advance science for the common good instead of selling it out for their own personal aspirations.

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