A Non-GMO Version of the Non-Browning GMO Apple

12 Feb, 2014

Guest article by Ken Roseboro

A genetically engineered apple that doesn’t brown after it is cut has received huge media attention recently. Meanwhile, Washington State University’s recently released apple variety, WA 38, also is extremely slow to brown—and it was developed with conventional breeding techniques used for millennia.

WA 38 is a cross between Enterprise and Honeycrisp. The large, juicy apple has a remarkably firm and crisp texture. Its exceptional flavor profile provides ample sweetness and tartness, making it an excellent eating apple.

The GMO Arctic apple has generated significant media attention because of its ability to not turn brown. The non-GMO WA 38 is extremely slow to turn brown when cut and maintains its texture and flavor in storage for more than a year. Unlike the Arctic apple, WA 38 does not raise GMO concerns and is seen as a better alternative for Washington’s apple producers.

After more than 16 years in the making, this eye-catching, dark-red beauty is ready for launch into the marketplace. With its winning combination of taste, texture, and beauty, this premium apple will be a boon to Washington apple growers, WSU’s breeding program, and apple lovers everywhere.

WSU has scheduled the release date for trees to growers of WA 38 in 2017.

Washington’s apple producers are likely to welcome a non-GMO alternative because they are concerned about the impacts of the GMO Arctic apple, which may soon be approved by the US Department of Agriculture.

Henry House, a Washington State organic apple grower, calls the GMO apple “an economic disaster.”

Christian Schlect, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, told the Washington Post, “We’re concerned about the marketing impact, from consumer impact to the imposition of additional costs.”

Ken is editor of The Organic & Non-GMO Report. He can be reached at ken@non-gmoreport.com.

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  • S Loire King

    The Public…just won’t buy it!

  • martha

    Organic Gala Apples are also slow to brown, great texture and taste and already on the market! I buy bags of them all the time, esp on sale, and they keep well. I will await the new Washington apple to test it but am satisfied with organic galas!

  • David

    100’s of genes have been swapped and changed in the process of creating this apple possibly leading to unknown health or environmental consequences. As a result will this new apple have a decade of animal and human feeding trials, allergy testing, and environmental review before it is released to the public?

  • stone8pin

    Last month I had Opal Apples from Washington. They have both regular and organic NON-GMO varieties. They were extra large, crisp and sweet and did not brown. Bought at Trader Joe’s.

  • http://adamapples.blogspot.com/ Adam

    There are already several traditional apples that resist browning, including Cortland, Lady Alice, and Opal.