The arctic apple was approved for development and consumer sales in the United States this past week. The apple is a genetically varied to suppress a certain enzyme which causes apples to brown; simply put scientists invented a non-browning apple. The department of agriculture bases this approval off of their finding that the apple is safe to both consumers and other plant life. The people who should most be worried about the impacts of this product however are its producers. This sentiment seems odd, the arctic apple offers all of the benefits of a classic granny smith without the inconvenience of browning. It’s ostensibly the same old product with an upgrade. People are afraid of GMOs. Certain misconceptions exist which drive consumers away from these products. In general, GMOs pose no harm to consumers however certain myths exist and consumers are weary. People tend to imagine that genetically modified food springs to life in a corporate scientist’s petri dish. In reality, these apples grow on trees and are nutritionally equivalent to “normal apples”. Though GMOs aren’t without fault their development has been significantly stifled by unfounded fears rooted in stigmatism. The genetic modification of certain food products offers solutions to various issues regarding production and consumption of food. GMOs offer innovation in an industry where changes have been hard to come by. The development of new produce creates a more competitive environment in a business sense as it allows companies to provide distinct alternatives to each others products. Despite all of their apparent advantages, it may be a while before GMOs get any traction. The key to success lies not in R&D or in production however; it lies in marketing. Perhaps the same group of people who made consumers believe that organic food is healthier than conventionally grown food despite there being no scientific evidence to back up that claim is looking for a job.
Nikolas De Stefano