It’s critical that organic standards treat new types of genetic engineering that are rapidly entering our food and consumer products as rigorously as the first generation of GMOs.
In the wake of widespread criticism of the USDA’s recent approval of the first genetically engineered apple, the Food and Drug Administration recently deemed the Arctic® apple, owned by synthetic biology company Intrexon (NYSE: XON), safe for consumption, relying only on company data through a voluntary safety consultation.
Last month, the new genetically engineered Arctic Apple® was approved by the USDA to enter the U.S. market, allowing the Arctic® apple to be planted and sold without specific oversight.
“Despite the USDA’s flawed approval of the GMO apple, there is no place in the U.S. or global market for genetically engineered apples.” saidLisa Archer, Food and Technology program director at Friends of the Earth. “Farmers don’t want to grow it, food companies don’t want to sell it and consumers don’t want to eat it.”
In letters to Friends of the Earth, the world’s largest restaurant chain McDonald’s, and leading baby food manufacturer Gerber have confirmed they do not plan to sell or use the Arctic® apple, the first genetically engineered apple that has an application pending before the U.S. Department of Agriculture.