On December 14, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)announced an evaluationof a variety of Del Monte Fresh Produce (DMFP) genetically engineered pink flesh pineapples that found no unresolved safety or regulatory issues under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Although a consultation is voluntary and does not equal a approval from FDA, DMFP submitted information “regarding characteristics of the new plant variety, the nature and effect of the genetic change, potential unexpected or unintended effects that could accompany the genetic change, and the nutritional assessment,” to show how the new variety is safe and nutritious.

To achieve its new pink color, DMFP genetically engineered its pineapple to produce lower levels of the enzyme lycopene, which helps convert a conventional pineapple to its yellow pigment and also makes tomatoes red.

According to the FDA, DMFP plan to identify the new variety as “extra sweet pink flesh pineapple” and while the pineapple will be marketed in the United States, DMFP plans on growing the pink flesh pineapple in Costa Rica.

In addition to DMFP pink flesh pineapples, late last year the FDA approved the first genetically modified animal,salmon (AquAdvantage Salmon), for human consumption.

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online 12/30/2016