I am concerned that a GMO apple is being considered for the Pacific Northwest. We are justly proud of the wonderful fruit production in the Washington/Oregon corridor and would suffer a deep loss if GMO contamination spread through our apple family industry. There is still a great deal of mystery how GMO contamination appeared in Oregon, so this isn’t just a simple matter.
Adding slow-browning to apples does not require any GMO gene injections, nor does it require any special patents or high costs. The Cortland Apple has been providing salads and fresh eating beautiful white, crisp apples with very slow browning times for a hundred years. The Cortland and its separately named sports can fill this niche, if a market need is being unfulfilled.
Although you have been champions of all things GMO, with your opinions and cartoons lampooning opposition to them as Luddite, we must be aware that GMO bans are trending hard, and gaining in popularity worldwide. A couple hours searching “GMO Bans” online will be enough to show the explosion in these initiatives. Without addressing this on a scientific basis, but only on our need to keep our produce popular and welcome world-wide, we must dig in our heels and consider GMOs only when there is a pressing need demonstrated and safety of product proven.