Would you buy a "botox apple"?

Apples

TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: First, the U.S. Senate today is likely to pass sweeping new food safety reforms. The legislation steps up federal inspections and the ability for the government to recall bad food. But bioengineers keep churning out new kinds of food for regulators to oversee.

From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sarah Gardner reports. reports.


Sarah Gardner: Critics call it "the botox apple." It's a genetically modified apple that doesn't turn brown soon after slicing. Bio-engineers "turned off" the enzyme that triggers discoloration. Neal Carter heads the Canadian company seeking approval to market the apple here.

Neal Carter: You know, the consumer will see an apple that appears better, they can cut it in the home the night before and put it in the kid's lunch and it won't be brown in the kid's lunch where they go, 'Yuck, I'm not eating that.'

But retailers and consumers will ultimately determine this apple's success. Genetically modified potatoes failed here after McDonald's refused to buy them. Food activists like Andrew Kimbrell are already frowning on this apple.

Andrew Kimbell: We here at the Center for Food Safety are actually concerned that by not turning brown it may not alert cooks and consumers to the fact that these apples are spoiled.

But one analyst says a little cosmetic surgery may just be what the lowly apple needs.

I'm Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

About the author

Sarah Gardner is a reporter on the Marketplace sustainability desk covering sustainability news spots and features.

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