The Progressive Farmer unpacked the story of Del Monte’s sweeter GMO pink pineapple, which recently gained FDA approval. Food Safety News’ reporting on the development was critiqued for being surprisingly favorable toward the novel, consumer-focused food product.
In documents filed with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Del Monte reported 65% of the pineapple it imports to the U.S. is sold fresh. About 15% goes to fresh-cut, with the balance sent to juice and frozen food processors. The new genetically modified pink variety is planned to be sold through about the same channels, according to the documents filed with USDA.
It will be interesting to see the details about how Del Monte plans to market its new pineapple and then to note consumer reactions. U.S. genetics providers often concede that they were mistaken in focusing their initial efforts on increasing production efficiency with “Roundup Ready” products, or plants that are parasite resistant–rather than producing products with better flavors or pharmaceutical properties like added vitamins or other health aids.
The argument is that such a focus might have avoided some of the negative reactions that have followed the introduction of GMO products. As a result, the industry now is working quietly on a broad range of products with “consumer qualities” including longer shelf-life apples and potatoes and Golden Rice that reduces night blindness, especially for children, among many others.
So, it will be interesting to see how the industry markets its pink pineapple, and what traits it emphasizes—and how well that succeeds. This is expected to have an impact on the future focus of GMO improved products, and especially the fight to break down consumer resistance by producing products that more directly benefit consumers, an effort that will be increasingly intense in the future, Washington Insider believes.
Global Justice Ecology Project’s Anne Petermann made these comments on the GMO pink pineapple last week:
As usual, the FDA is glossing over this new GMO and insisting it is safe to eat and no different from any other pineapple. They ignore the fact that the manipulation of genetic material in any organism causes unforeseen mutations or other impacts that cannot be predicted. How these engineered plants them interact with soil microorganisms, wildlife, songbirds or nearby ecosystems is also unknown. This is of particular concern since these are not annual plants, but are perennials that can live for years and openly pollinate, raising the threat of contamination of non-GMO pineapples.
A video report on the GMO pink pineapple is provided below: