The USDA Approves the First GMO Apple

The non-browning Arctic Apple will hit the produce aisle in 2017

Arctic Apple.

While we know there's nothing wrong with our apples turning a little brown after we slice them (it's just the effect of the air!), it doesn't make it any less annoying. Well, problem solved! The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved Artic Apples, golden and green apples that are genetically engineered not to brown.

This decision marks the first approval of an aesthetically improved, genetically engineered food, but it doesn't mean you should reconsider your apple-buying stategy quite yet; it only means that it's safe to grow other crops around an Artic Apple tree. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve the modified fruit for human consumption. (Stick to your regular ol' Granny Smith's when it comes to these 10 Amazing Apple Recipes.)

The decision was made despite 73,000 public comments against it, which included reasons like the potential contamination of farms and the risk for organic farms to lose their certification. And you might recall when, last year, Europe Banned American Apples because of a chemical coating that prevented brown spots

Backlash or not, Arctic Apples will start falling from trees in 2017 and will be distinguishable in stores (once approved for eating) by a simple snowflake sticker. You'll probably find them near other weird apple derivatives like the Grapple, a Fuji apple bathed in grape-flavored liquid (yes, that exists).

If you're the type who wants to leave your apple slices out for days and weeks, start your two-year countdown. However, if you prefer to keep your apple slices from browning naturally, just squirt a lemon or lime on them (or eat them!).

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