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The Washington Post has announced news that the first genetically modified, non-browning apples are slated to go on sale in the US as early as next month.
Known as the "Arctic Apple", the first commercially available crop of such apples will be sold sliced in 10-oz bags as a convenience snack food from 1 February, probably in a small selection of Midwestern grocery stores.
Browning of apple flesh usually occurs naturally when exposed to the open air due to a chemical reaction initiated by an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase (PPO). The Arctic Apple website explains that "scientists knew the best way to make non-browning apples was to reduce their PPO content" by essentially "turning off" that responsible gene.
The Washington Post also notes that Artic Apples would be one of the first GMOs marketed directly to consumers hinged on the "convenience" factor whereas genetic modifications have in the past been mainly "defended" as a way to protect crops.
Will this pave the way for blue bananas and pink pineapples?