All Things Gardening forum: Genetically engineered "Arctic" apple

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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 22, 2017 5:57 PM CST
I thought this article from Michigan Farm News might be of interest with regard to the controversy over GMO fruits and vegetables... how do you feel about it?
https://www.michfb.com/MI/Farm...

I personally wonder where these "pre-sliced" apples will be sold... doesn't McDonald's offer a portion of sliced apples as a healthy alternative to fries? or maybe in school lunches? To restaurants that use them in salads and desserts? My point is that in the pre-sliced form it would seem to me to be less likely that the consumer would have notice about it being genetically engineered. Glare

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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Feb 22, 2017 10:41 PM CST
I personally wonder where these "pre-sliced" apples will be sold... doesn't McDonald's offer a portion of sliced apples as a healthy alternative to fries? or maybe in school lunches? To restaurants that use them in salads and desserts? My point is that in the pre-sliced form it would seem to me to be less likely that the consumer would have notice about it being genetically engineered.


Pre-sliced apples may have a great benefit to people with disabilities who want to maintain as high a level of independence as possible. It is natural that you would not think of this in your list above--the vast majority of people don't think about how products can be used by disabled people through specific vendors. As a side note, a great many late night infomercial products which are ridiculed are initially designed to help people with disabilities. But they have to be marketed to a wider audience in order to stay afloat and stay affordable, so when people mock them or express confusion about how they could possibly be useful, it shows a lack of understanding and a limited way of thinking.

Having the option of pre-sliced, non-browning, applies could benefit people with dozens of different muscular and neurological disorders right off the top of my head.

By the way, every plant we use is modified genetically. The only difference between this apple tree and your great grandmother's apple tree is that this apple's modification happened much more quickly and more linearly than every other crop's. The "debate" of genetically modified organisms is an intellectual fallacy called the straw man's argument. People engage in it without ever realizing the ontological problems that they're starting out with. They generally do this in good faith, having no real idea. It's a sign of an intellect that does not look at the base assumptions and instead just runs with them because that's what other people do.
Keep going!
[Last edited by Jai_Ganesha - Feb 23, 2017 1:56 AM (+)]
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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Weedwhacker
Feb 23, 2017 8:34 AM CST
Jai, did you understand what I meant by this sentence? "My point is that in the pre-sliced form it would seem to me to be less likely that the consumer would have notice about it being genetically engineered."

Why would you imply that I was "mocking" the idea of sliced apples being sold?

And, even though you have no problem with genetically engineered edibles, a lot of people do -- and deserve to know what they are buying.
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Feb 23, 2017 8:41 AM CST
Sandy - have wondered the same thing myself. Personally, I would not knowingly buy the Arctic apple. If I buy a chicken pecan salad with apple chunks, how do I know what I'm buying? I do believe in GMO labeling - I want the choice.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
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UrbanWild
Feb 28, 2017 8:04 PM CST
No thanks. I am one who abhors the arrogance of businesses telling people they can control the flow of transgenic material...especially when it has been definitively shown that they can't. I also object to the misinformation they spread trying to make people think it is just like using current techniques to perform something equal or similar to classical genetic crossing or hybridization. It is not. I don't want to hijack this thread however and really don't want to spend a lot of time in debate...just dropped my humble opinion. YMMV

Specific to the thread, I would rather stay with historic, non-GMO selections bred for flavor, not handling and manipulation for shipping/sale.
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[Last edited by UrbanWild - Feb 28, 2017 8:21 PM (+)]
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Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 1, 2017 1:04 PM CST
I always choose NON-GMO label when given a choice. But since there will only be one GMO apple, so far, Ithink it's the Artic apple that should be the one labeled GMO instead of all the natural apples out there.

DH likes pre-sliced apples. I like them whole.
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Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
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Phenolic
Mar 4, 2017 6:07 PM CST
These apples would be pretty easy to tell apart from regular apples, I feel. If the sliced apple pieces on your plate don't go brown in a few minutes, then they're not from Arctic apples?

UrbanWild said:I am one who abhors the arrogance of businesses telling people they can control the flow of transgenic material...especially when it has been definitively shown that they can't.


Preventing genetic pollution of wild relatives of domesticated crops is easy, but requires 100% compliance with geographic isolation plans. I.e. if you don't grow a domesticated crop where its wild relative also grows, then you can avoid transfer of genetic material between the two populations. Growing domesticated, GM, etc. corn in Asia can't contaminate wild populations of corn in Central America, as an example.

However, farmers also have the freedom to grow whatever they want to grow on their land, so achieving the 100% compliance part is the difficult part. If someone really wants to grow something, even outlawing the practise can't stop them from growing it. (Example: marijuana.)

UrbanWild said:Specific to the thread, I would rather stay with historic, non-GMO selections bred for flavor, not handling and manipulation for shipping/sale.


Most of the apples in grocery stores where I live taste like cardboard because they've been bred for shelf stability. It's sad how difficult it is to find food that doesn't taste bland outside of seasonal markets.

Jai_Ganesha said:Having the option of pre-sliced, non-browning, applies could benefit people with dozens of different muscular and neurological disorders right off the top of my head.


This reminds me of the pre-seeded, pre-skinned avocado halves that made the news where I live a few years ago! The general public just deemed these as "wastefully packed" and "lazy", but they did benefit a friend of mine who has a muscular disorder and can't prepare avocados without help.

I guess pre-slice fresh food is a niche product?

[Last edited by Phenolic - Mar 4, 2017 6:14 PM (+)]
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Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
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UrbanWild
Mar 4, 2017 10:02 PM CST
Phenolic said:
Preventing genetic pollution of wild relatives of domesticated crops is easy, but requires 100% compliance with geographic isolation plans. I.e. if you don't grow a domesticated crop where its wild relative also grows, then you can avoid transfer of genetic material between the two populations. Growing domesticated, GM, etc. corn in Asia can't contaminate wild populations of corn in Central America, as an example.


Corn pollen is unfortunately blown all over the globe. Not only is it not easy to control the flow of genetic material, it is impossible. Horizontal transfer between species is common. It would seem willfully arrogant on the part of biotech companies to suggest it is either controllable or even preventable. In my mind, it is even willfully misleading for the sake of quickly making a buck. Additionally, primary literature has already shown horizontal transfer of transgenic material. This is known both to the scientific community as well as technological industrialists.

On the surface, the arguments perpetuated by these biotech companies may seem plausible. That is the insidious part of the misinformation campaign. The transfer of genetic material from corn to teosinte is the least concerning of potential outcomes especially when one considers risks like allergenicities, resistances, and impacts to natural communities. The Precautionary Principle should ALWAYS be in play. However, it is rarely so when there is easy money to be made.

However, farmers also have the freedom to grow whatever they want to grow on their land, so achieving the 100% compliance part is the difficult part. If someone really wants to grow something, even outlawing the practise can't stop them from growing it.


I agree No doubt, humans are problematic! Crying
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
Mar 9, 2017 10:16 AM CST
I think GMO products as a whole are bad for our health. How many years has the apple been around, and everyone has eaten them just fine.....it's a marketing ruse to make money. Can you just see it in the Garden of Eden- the serpent says to Eve, "Eat this genetically modified apple, it's good for you and better than the one over there because you don't have to cut it up. It is pre-sliced on the tree." Confused

I personally will search out non-GMO. We do not know what it does to our bodies yet, because there isn't enough data to prove it's ok. So for me, NO WAY.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
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Weedwhacker
Mar 9, 2017 5:11 PM CST
In my mind the jury is still "out" as far as GMOs -- we really just do not know. There is a part of me that loves the science and the fact that it's possible to genetically engineer organisms... but, I really think people have a right to know what they are buying, and even if whole apples sold in the supermarket might be clearly labeled "GMO" I don't think a lot of things that contain pre-sliced apples will be. Shrug!
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Mar 9, 2017 5:16 PM CST
Sandy - no offense but do you really think they're going to put a GMO label on the apples regardless of their form? Yes, the science is mind-boggling but not thoroughly vetted IMO.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
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Weedwhacker
Mar 9, 2017 7:34 PM CST
I don't know for sure -- I don't think they are presently required to label them as GMO, are they? But, even if they had to label the "whole fruit," it seems like if the way these GMOs are being sold as pre-sliced would almost preclude the consumer being given notice of that fact. But then, I'm sure there are lots of corn, soybean, etc. products that are GMO and not labeled as such... My feeling is that, although many people don't care one way or another, the people that DO care have a right to know what they are buying.
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
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Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 10, 2017 12:36 AM CST
I think the label we will be looking for like a lot of foods is, Non-GMO. If it doesn't have this label, it will be safe to assume* GMO. When DH tossed in the sliced apples from Costco I did double check it. It was marked "Organic". I assume that means it can't be GMO? No. No wait. "Organic" means 99% no pesticides but it CAN be GMO? GMO but no pesticides? It's all so confusing.

Have you all seen the movie Consumed?
"CONSUMED is a dramatic thriller that explores the complex world of genetically modified food. The story is anchored by a working-class, single Mother on a hunt to uncover the cause of her son's mysterious illness. Interwoven are the stories of an Organic farmer, the CEO of a biotechnology corporation, two Scientists on the verge of a major discovery, and an ex-Cop caught in the middle of it all."
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Mar 10, 2017 1:57 AM CST
Organic means pertaining to a class of chemical compounds that formerly comprised those existing in or derived from plants or animals, but that now includes all other compounds of carbon. Hemlock, nightshade, and opium are all organic qua "organic."
Keep going!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
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Weedwhacker
Mar 10, 2017 8:31 AM CST
Jai, your definition seems to relate to "organic substances," not what we're talking about here.

Here's a link to an article about the USDA standards for food that can be labeled "organic":

https://www.usda.gov/media/blo...

the short version: "Produce can be called organic if it’s certified to have grown on soil that had no prohibited substances applied for three years prior to harvest. Prohibited substances include most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. In instances when a grower has to use a synthetic substance to achieve a specific purpose, the substance must first be approved according to criteria that examine its effects on human health and the environment (see other considerations in “Organic 101: Allowed and Prohibited Substances”).

As for organic meat, regulations require that animals are raised in living conditions accommodating their natural behaviors (like the ability to graze on pasture), fed 100% organic feed and forage, and not administered antibiotics or hormones."
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Mar 10, 2017 8:49 AM CST
Plants have substance.
Keep going!
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
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Phenolic
Mar 10, 2017 6:29 PM CST
Weedwhacker said:Jai, your definition seems to relate to "organic substances," not what we're talking about here.


Whoever first used the word "organic" in the context of reduced synthetic chemical usage agricultural practices should have just invented a new word. It's sometimes confusing, and slightly amusing, to see copper sulphate and other inorganic chemicals labelled as organic pesticides. I imagine some French biologists having the same issue with the word "biologique".
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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Weedwhacker
Mar 10, 2017 7:59 PM CST
Phenolic said:

Whoever first used the word "organic" in the context of reduced synthetic chemical usage agricultural practices should have just invented a new word.


I agree! Is it too late? Maybe they could come up with a new designation...
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
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Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 10, 2017 11:23 PM CST
It's never too late. People are starting to realize what the trendy term "eating clean" actually means. "Granola Chewers" are not that crazy any more! For years food labels have duped us into thinking what we were getting was clean and pure by using the wor "natural". Now we know better. The demand for change is just the first step to keep our grandkids and our grandkids' grandkids aware of what is actually in their foods.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Mar 11, 2017 3:57 AM CST
How do plants not have substance (matter/energy), though?
Keep going!

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