Genetically modified apples and potatoes that are engineered not to brown or bruise are safe to eat, federal officials announced Friday.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluated the safety and nutrition of two varieties of apples genetically engineered by the company Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc. and six varieties of potatoes from J. R. Simplot Company and concluded that they are no different from traditional apples and potatoes
Scientists had lowered enzymes in the produce, engineering the “Arctic Apples” to not brown and the “Innate” potatoes to not produce black spot bruises.
“The FDA has no additional food safety questions at this time concerning food from these plant varieties,” the FDA wrote in its announcement.
The agency says it reviewed information provided by the companies about the changes made and the nutrition of the apples and potatoes compared to traditional varieties. “This case-by-case safety evaluation ensures that food safety issues are resolved prior to commercial distribution,” said Dennis Keefe, director of the FDA’s Office of Food Additive Safety in a statement.
The FDA says it encourages the companies to consult with the FDA about labeling.