The First Genetically Modified Apple Gets Ready for the Market
A Canadian bio-tech company gets the first genetically modified apple ready for US consumption.
News that published in www.suite101.com in Nov 30, 2010 by Teena Clipston
Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF), a Canadian agricultural biotechnology company, has developed the first genetically modified apple. The apple has been modified by turning off the gene that produces the enzyme polyphenol oxidase, thus inhibiting the browning of a sliced or bruised apple. The product is awaiting application process through the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Apples turn brown naturally when exposed to air or bruised. The OSF apple was created for cosmetic reasons, slating that a non-browning apple will provide greater consumer appeal and significant production savings.
Benefits of Genetically Modified Apples
The non-browning technology benefits the grower and the shipper. At national scale it will help to significantly reduce the post harvest loss and prevent seasonal price fluctuation since it can now be stored for longer periods of time. OSF states that the non-browning apple will not turn brown for days, although they did not confirm how many days.
Patents for Genetically Modified Foods
The non-browning apple is fully protected under national and international patent laws through genomic patent protections, thus joining a host of other genetically modified foods and seeds now owned and controlled by corporations worldwide.
Genetically altered products usually become patentable when they have been modified to produce a unique form not found in nature. Currently there are over three million genome-related patent applications filed with the Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) of the United States.
Other genetically modifying technologies for the apple are in process, with companies working towards developing insect resistant apples and transgenic apples.