Without a very sensitive test one would never even be able to find them. Since apples are not grown from seed and since seeds are slightly toxic and should not be eaten, this is a non-event. The precedent for Organic is that any unintentional synthetic pesticide residue is not grounds for losing certification. I don't see why that would not be the rule here as well.
The gene silencing method used with these apples is a mechanism which is common for natural gene regulation. Far more genes are "off" than on in any eukaryotic cells. I believe that consumers who know that biotech crops are perfectly safe should have the opportunity to try these apples. The US has not imitated the Europeans.
We do not let politics and scaremongering trump science. There have been dozens of independent, long-term feeding studies that have demonstrated the safety of biotech crops. I believe that it is unfortunate that some in the apple industry have swiftly taken the stance that they don't want the trouble of having this option. I understand their concerns, but I don't believe that it is ever a good idea to give in to anti-science voices. I am confident that the USDA will continue its adherence to sound science when making this decision.
It is interesting to note that apple industry opposition to the Arctic apple draws notice from both camps. In pursuit of a definitive pulse of the broader industry on this issue, I ask a simple question to readers. Should the USDA approve the GMO Arctic apple?
Vote and join the conversation on the topic both in this space and the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group.