Like Dorian Grey, the fictional ageless man, whose wrinkled face was invisible to those around him, the newly devised Arctic Apple defies oxygenation, almost never browning. Seems this genetically engineered fruit has had its genes for an apple enzyme that creates browning (polyphenol oxidase, or PPO) replaced with genes for a different enzyme (low-PPO) that doesnt cause browning.
This development has some apple farmers and consumers shaking their heads in dismay: Will it be a way to sell subpar, older apples while making non-genetically engineered apples seem less desirable when there is nothing wrong with them, brown spots and all? Now, when you buy apple slices, theyre usually coated in vitamin C or calcium to prevent browning and preserve crispness on the market shelf.
Theres a chance for you to let the government know what you think about the Arctic Apple until mid-September. (Google Federal eRulemaking Portal; then search apples browning.) Our opinion: Cross-breeding plants has been going on for years. But genetic cross-breeding is different. And while genetically modified foods are tested for safety, we just dont know the long-term repercussions to the people who eat them.
If youre concerned: At the grocery store, look for the tag on produce. If it has a five-digit code starting with an 8, this indicates its genetically modified. And you can find the only third-party verified listing of non-GMO products and foods at nongmoproject.org.
The You Docs Mehmet Oz, host of The Dr. Oz Show and Mike Roizen of Cleveland Clinic are authors of YOU: Losing Weight. A King Features syndicate.