GMO ‘Arctic Apple” now in grocery stores


by Catherine Haug, Nov 22, 2017 (Image, right, from OCA and used with permission)

HEADS-UP! I wrote about the pending introduction of the GMO Arctic Apple last year, and now it is in about 400 grocery stores in the Midwest, and will soon spread through the country. This apple is genetically engineered to resist browning when cut/sliced. Initially, this Arctic Apple will be sold cut – in 10-oz bags, but in the future could be sold whole. They will not be labeled as “GMO;” instead, you will need to use a cell phone to read the QR code.

This new variety, developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits, are engineered to suppress the production of the enzyme polyphony oxides (PPO), that causes the browning of the apple’s flesh when exposed to air. 

While the assumption is that a browned apple is a bad apple, that assumption is not true.

Browning is the apple’s way of protecting itself – and you, the consumer – from bad bacteria and fungi. This browning results from the oxidation of phenolic compounds into antiseptic O-quinones. Apples are very high in phenolic compounds, which have many benefits for human health – “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” You won’t get this benefit from the GMO Arctic apple.

Instead, there are better, safer and healthier ways to prevent browning of cut apples (1):

  • Put cut apples in the refrigerator. This will slow down the chemical reactions and oxidation process that leads to browning.
  • Spray exposed areas of cut apples with pineapple juice or lemon juice, which will slow enzymatic browning.
  • Immerse cut apples in pure water, which will keep oxygen from reaching the surface without affecting flavor. You can even add a dissolved vitamin C tablet to the water; the antioxidants will further stave off browning.11
  • Blanch apples in boiling water for four to five minutes (this should only be used for apples you plan on cooking, as it will affect the texture).

This introduction is a bellwether to test whether American consumers will accept or reject them. I vote to reject them;  how about you? Unfortunately, in testing earlier this year (2017), 90 percent of consumers who tried them said they’d buy them if they were available. Unfortunately, they will not be labeled as “GMO;’ instead there will be a QR code on the package, which consumers can scan with a cellphone for more information. (2) So, don’t forget to take your cell phone to the grocery store….

Read Mercola’s article (1) for more information on this.


  1. Mercola:
  2. Bloomberg, November 2, 2017:

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