If you love pineapples, but hate their blinding yellow hue (it’s like staring into the heart of the sun!), a global produce brand – with the aid of a team of scientists – has come to your rescue: Genetically-modified pink-fleshed pineapples are one step closer to hitting store shelves in the US.
Pineapple kingpin Del Monte Fresh Produce has been reportedly working on developing a pink-fleshed pineapple dating all the way back to 2005. And now the (pink) fruits of their labor are about to pay off. Earlier this week, the FDA announced that “there are no unresolved safety or regulatory questions” about the genetically-modified fruit – which has been patented as the obnoxiously trendy “Rosé” pineapple variety –putting it one step closer to reaching American store shelves.
According to the FDA, Del Monte was able to coax a new color out of the fruit cup staple by genetically engineering an old-fashioned yellow pineapple to produce lower levels of its already existing enzymes that “convert the pink pigment lycopene to the yellow pigment beta carotene.” “Lycopene is the pigment that makes tomatoes red and watermelons pink, so it is commonly and safely consumed,” the FDA continued. To distinguish this crazy new creation from other non-designer fruits, Del Monte plans to label it as “extra sweet pink flesh pineapple” as opposed to their usual “extra sweet pineapple.” You’ll probably be able to find them in the “super trendy brunch items” section of your grocery store.
Admittedly, I am not an expert when it comes to GMOs. However, I tend to fall on the side of the scientists who say the practice is generally safe. Still, I concede that altering pineapples for what appears to be primarily an aesthetic purpose does add a bit of a wrinkle to the debate. Aren’t each and every pineapple beautiful just the way they are? Also, the fact that Del Monte gave this new variety literally the most obnoxious name possible probably won’t win it any fans.
And one bit of good news: Del Monte doesn’t plan to grow any of these pineapples in the US. They’re being produced in Costa Rica. So if for some reason they do become sentient and turn on their human creators, hopefully US military will have time to devise a plan before spiky, pink fruits conquer the globe.