39% of Americans still believe GMOs are worse for your health, but there’s reason to believe that opinion could shift with new information. Limited scientific knowledge, distrust for scientists and the ubiquitousness of false information all play a part here, but the polling suggests it’s not just a question of needing more science-based information but also a shift in perception.
This month, a new GMO will hit the market: the GMO Arctic Apple, a brand of Okanagan Specialty Fruits. This GMO is different from other GMO crops on the market in a number of ways, and it just might get the public to shift its thinking about GMOs.
- It’s not about pesticides. It’s well-documented that agricultural pesticides don’t pose a health risk to consumers, and yet fears about GMOs often come back to pesticide use (either Bt toxin or glyphosate for RoundupReady GMOs). Because the Arctic Apple’s genetic modification has to do with non-browning rather than pesticide use, the public may be more willing to give it a try.
- Monsanto doesn’t sell it. The Arctic Apple brand is owned by Okanagnan Specialty Fruits, a company that isn’t Monsanto. Now, many objections to Monsanto are just plain false (see myths about Indian suicides and endless lawsuits against farmers) or misdirected (see concerns that are really about the patent system or corporations in general), but, for those consumers who want to avoid Monsanto-related products, this apple is for them.
- Food waste. Many consumers want to feel good about their purchases, including their groceries. These apples won’t mitigate the impacts of climate change like some other GMOs, but the non-browning gene means the fruit looks crisper and fresher for longer. Fresher-looking food has a better chance of being eaten rather than ending up in the trash.
- They’re nutritious! Corn and soy do have nutritional benefits, of course, and sugar is absolutely fine in moderation, but for the “whole food” obsessed, this science-boosted fruit could be far more appealing.
- You can use these GMOs for science experiments with your kid! Cut up an Arctic and a organic apple and place them side by side. You won’t believe what happens next? Okay, yes you will because non-browning isn’t that complicated but try it on a three year old! They’re so gullible. You can also feed them to your pets, who may or not be as impressed. Thanks to our friends at We Love GMOs and Vaccines for this awesomeness: