Letters to the Editor

Taken to task over reporting survey results for modified apple

To the editor:

Re: Letter to editor: Survey Says Genetically Modified Fruit Spells Trouble, July 5 Capital News.

The title of your article is Survey Says Genetically Modified Fruit Spells Trouble (July 5 Capital News) and yet the survey shows nothing of the sort.

The survey question was: “CP2. A genetically engineered apple, in which the gene that controls apple browning has been modified, is being considered for approval by Health Canada. When cut, the apple does not brown, mainly resulting in a cosmetic benefit and also enhancing the efficiency of fresh cut apple processors.”

If you had done any research on the Arctic apple, you would know that the benefit is not mainly cosmetic, and this is a misrepresentation. The fact that the polling company weighted its responses, and it was an online survey, further corrupts the data. There is zero information that can be deduced from this question that is relevant to the Arctic apple.

Question CP1, which looks at GM foods with both a productivity and cosmetic benefit, provides a more accurate metric by which to measure the appeal of Arctic apples. This question polled 37 per cent in favour and 49 per cent against.

Arctic apples, however; also provide a flavour and health benefit, preserving nutritional content in the apple and improving the quality of all apple by-products. The appeal of Arctic apples was never measured in this survey.

It is also not Okanagan growers that paid for the survey, it is the BCFGA. The BCFGA does not act with the approval of all of its members, and is not representative of all Okanagan apple growers.

Next time, please verify your data before writing an article like this one.

Joel Carter,

Vancouver

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