FDA stamps seal of approval for Costa Rica growing genetically modified ‘pink pineapples’
Pineapples with a hot pink and outstandingly sweet interior will soon be stocked in almost every produce aisle across the United States.
Since the genetic modification of yellow pineapples in 2005, Del Monte Fresh Produce (DMFP) recently received approval from the Food and Drug Administration, to sell the genetically modified pink pineapple in U.S. grocery stores.
While no official statement has been released from Del Monte as to what motive was behind the engineering of a pink pineapple, numerous people could speculate that the color pink is seemingly more pleasing to the eye which, in turn, could boost produce sales for DMFP.
The company used genetic modification to suppress the internal gene that causes a pineapple to be yellow.
In turn, they used the pigment-related phytochemical, lycopene, to attain the bright pink hue.
The phytochemical lycopene, commonly found in tomatoes and watermelon, is best known for its antioxidant components, which the FDA concludes is commonly and safely consumed by the public.
It is unclear if any nutritional values will be compromised in this new pink pineapple.
This is not the first time that the world has tested the limits of the foods we consume.
In 2007, Japan shared its modified square watermelons with the world. By confining the fruits to the parameters of a box, Japan was able to turn a familiar fruit into an unnatural shape.
In December, the United States Department of Agriculture released that the pink pineapple is safe for consumer consumption.
However, with the lack of sufficient evidence to support long-term use of genetically modified organisms, its level of safety is still under speculation.
To prevent consumer confusion, DMFP vouches to include the wording “extra sweet pink flesh pineapple” on the attached produce tags.
This is to distinguish the “pink pineapple” from DMFP’s golden “extra sweet pineapple, which was introduced to markets in 1990s.
The new “Pink pineapples” will be grown in Costa Rica, known for its tropical climate and major exportation of the fruit.