Class blog for sharing and commenting on current events in biology.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Gene-Altered Apples and Potatoes Are Safe, F.D.A. Says

Current Event (3rd Quarter)                                                                            3/21/15

Biology/ Mrs. McClellan (C Odd)                                                                 Natascha Puri

Pollack, Andrew. "Gene-Altered Apples and Potatoes Are Safe, F.D.A.
            Says."The New York Times. The New York Times, 20 Mar. 2015. Web. 21
            Mar. 2015. <

 On Friday March 19th 2015, the Food and Drug Administration claimed that genetically modified apples and potatoes were as nutritious as their “conventional counterparts,” provided that they weren’t bruised or brown. The ‘Okanagan Specialty Fruits’ have developed the ‘Artic Apples’ that do not become bruised so easily when cut, which allows the wastage of fruits to decrease and the fruit will become more appealing to people. The ‘J. R. Simplot Company’ has developed the ‘Innate Potatoes’ which don’t become bruised, leading to less chemical alterations and decreasing the risk of cancer causing chemicals which are made when frying potatoes. The reason why the FDA has paid attention to potatoes and apples is because these foods are mostly spoken about amongst people and chefs. The FDA’s usually don’t make reviews and realizations about genetically modified crops mostly because many health scientists tend to criticize the reports, however, the FDA claims that their evaluations were extremely thorough. The FDA is now considering whether or not to clearly label to the customers that these crops have been genetically modified.

This article is definitely very important to society because genetically modified crops are becoming a very dangerous and important issue. Many people are moving to organic foods because of the different health issues genetically modified crops are causing to humans. This article is extremely interesting because it is very rare to hear that two genetically modified foods are actually safe and nutritious.

The author did a very good job in describing this new discovery, however, I did think that the author should have provided some more statistics to enforce the idea of the two foods are safe to eat. Some sort of scientific experiment should’ve been included. Also, the author should have added some comments from food scientists to get their opinion and their ideas about this discovery, which would give the reader other information about this discovery. Overall, I think that this article was very interesting and informative.


  1. This article was very well executed. Nonetheless topic has been a huge controversy among many people for a long period of time. I think that writing about genetically modified food must be taken very seriously because if something were to go wrong in genetically modified food, the public would be outrageous. In my opinion this subject must be under surveillance. However because you added names, dates and detail into your current event it gave your work more power to it. I specifically liked when you added about how genetically modified food can help with food wastage. When you stated that these new foods can assist in the prevention of cancer. For the majority of the current event it was great except you stated in the last paragraph, "should've have been...". Nonetheless this was a well written current event.

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  3. Natasha’s review of her article was simply outstanding. While there were many things that were well presented, it can be narrowed down into a few larger groups. One part of her review that I thought was particularly well presented was that she was able to describe both the pros and the cons of using genetically modified food, not being biased towards either side. A second part of her review that I thought was well presented was how she was able to show why genetically altered apples and potatoes were often protested against, and by whom they were specifically protested by. A final part of her review that I thought was well presented was how she was able to thoroughly explain how the FDA determines if these genetically modified products are safe.
    After reading this article, I was impressed by a few things. One of the things that impressed me is that although there is heavy opposition from using genetically altered food, I never knew that the FDA gave the go on these types of products, meaning that drastic changes to the agricultural industry could be coming relatively soon. Another thing that impressed me was that I never realized that the FDA has so much power that if it felt it was necessary, could destroy the emerging genetically altered food industry with one fatal blow.
    One way that this review could have been better would have been if Natasha included quotes. This is because if she included quotes from the article, her review would have much more credibility, and would have been more interesting to read. To fix this, all that has to be changed is spending an extra minute or two integrating a quote from the article into the review.

  4. In Natasha’s review of her article, she was very to the point, and in doing so, keep the reader’s attention. The amount of information provided allowed the reader to follow the story, but did not over simplify the information to a point that misconstrued the author’s original intentions. Additionally her choice of topic was very interesting as it plays a part in the life of nearly everyone in America, where apples and potatoes are among the most common foods eaten. Many people in today’s societies are opposed to genetically modified foods because the feel that is unnatural and as such could have serious medical repercussions. Perhaps, this new found information will provide insight into a whole new generation of selective breeding and genetic modification. Where I feel Natasha may have fallen a bit short in in her critique. Her thinking was somewhat paradoxical as she argued that the author other did not provide sufficient statics and information to back up the argument, but she herself took what little information there was a cut it down even more. That being said however, the information was to the point and captivating, but it was diluted.

  5. Natasha did a good job at explaining why such technology is so important to today's society. It is important to get the message out that GMOs are actually healthy and necessary for maintaining a stable population, and Natasha did a good job at explaining why this is the case. She also impressed me with her hard hitting criticism. More statistics are always a good thing, and Natasha rightly pointed out that more data should have been collected. Natasha did a good job of streamlining the information from a dense study into a brief and easily digestible report.

    I was surprised that apparently many health scientists criticize the safety of GMOs. I was under the impression that there was a pretty unanimous consensus on GMOs. I also found it interesting that the FDA gave the full greenlight to GMOs since the FDA can be very strict.

    The grammatical errors in this article were distracting. More editing to check for grammatical errors should have gone into this report, and the errors really detract from the entire report.


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