|Non-GM apples. Photo by Scott Bauer, USDA [Public domain]|
via Wikimedia Commons
If you've recovered your wits after reading about the latest biotech 'healthy' GM wheat courtesy of its artificial double-stranded RNA seasoning (see FRANKENWHEAT and RNA-MODIFIED FOOD - July 2013), spare a thought for the humble apple.
Non-organic apples already have a stunning array of pesticides in and on them. Forty-two have shown up in US Department of Agriculture tests. These chemicals include endocrine disruptors and suspected neurotoxins linked to ADHD.
A major reason for the application of all these pesticides is the exceptionally narrow gene-base of the modern apple. We rely on a very few choice varieties cloned from a single parent by repeated grafting. Our apples have lost their ability to get along on their own.
As if things weren't bad enough, the latest craze is non-browning GM apples which have artificial dsRNA to add to the mix. This biotech bit blocks the production of the enzyme which causes a damaged apple to turn brown.
It's been pointed out that the browning of an apple's cut surface is an important defense mechanism against the entry of pathogens. The non-browning varieties may therefore need even more chemicals to keep them disease-free.
There's a good case here for for buying old-fashioned apples which have been grown locally, and are organic if at all possible.
- Katherine Paul and Ronnie Cummins, Frankenapple: Bad News No Matter How You Slice It, Organic Consumers Association, 17.04.13