Genetically modified apples may trigger allergies: scientist - Focus Taiwan

Genetically modified apples may trigger allergies: scientist

(CNA file photo)
(CNA file photo)

Taipei, Jan. 22 (CNA) A local expert expressed concern Sunday that Taiwan might open its doors to genetically modified non-browning apples -- reportedly to go on sale in the U.S. next month -- and questioned whether the produce could trigger allergies among several groups.

Lin Chung-yin (林中英), a researcher at the toxicology department of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Linkou, said non-browning apples could be a potential threat to infants, children aged under 12, pregnant women, senior citizens and chronic illness sufferers.

Lin said that while no scientific report shows that genetically modified organism (GMO) produce has caused death, it could trigger or re-enforce allergic reactions in these groups.

Officials from the Council of Agriculture said they have not heard of government plans to import the GMO apples, grown to have lower levels of polyphenol oxidase -- the agent that makes the fruit turn brown after it is sliced or bitten.

(By Yang Shu-min and Lee Hsin-Yin) ENDITEM/J

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