2. Non-Browning Apples
According to Food Safety News, Okanagan Specialty Fruits of Summerland, British Columbia, a biotechnology company, has submitted an application to the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for market approval for a GMO apple that doesn’t brown after being sliced. The apple doesn’t brown because the gene that produces the enzyme polyphenol oxidase (what actually turns the apple brown) is silenced. The apples still brown but just not as quickly. What’s next, avocados that never go bad and pears that never get brown spots? Crazy stuff.
3. Fast-Growing Salmon
Unless you’ve been hibernating for the past few months, you’ve heard about this one and with good reason because salmon would be the first GMO animal approved by the FDA for human consumption.
According to Ars Technica:
These genetically modified Atlantic salmon have two foreign DNA sequences inserted into their genomes. One encodes a growth hormone from Chinook salmon. The other is the on-switch used by an antifreeze gene from ocean pout, an eel-like fish found in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. When placed alongside the growth hormone, this on-switch makes the salmon produce the growth hormone in cold weather when they otherwise wouldn’t. Importantly, the GM salmon do not grow larger than regular salmon; they just achieve their size in sixteen to eighteen months rather than three years.
The FDA isn’t evaluating the environmental concerns including pollution, waste, mating, and concentration of disease that go along with Aqua Bounty’s approval, just whether it’s safe for human consumption and it’s way too early to know that either.