Del Monte testing genetically modified pineapple

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Genetically modified pineapple grown in Costa Rica by Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. Inc. gained the approval of the U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this year.

However, according to a statement from Del Monte officials April 26, the new pineapple variety — dubbed Rosé — is “in a testing phase.”

“The USDA’s decision does not mean that Rosé is in commercial distribution; it is in a testing phase. Del Monte intends to continue to test Rosé and will communicate more details when appropriate,” according to the statement from Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing in North America for the Coral Gables, Fla., produce company.

“Del Monte Fresh Produce has a very active research and development program designed to explore new varieties and new agricultural techniques. The results of these research projects may or may not lead to commercialization depending on many factors including regulatory approvals by the relevant governmental authorities where and when applicable.”

Del Monte officials wrote to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in July 2012 seeking approval for its patent-pending Rosé pineapple. Michael Gregoire, deputy administrator of biotechnology regulatory services at APHIS responded with the agency’s OK on Jan. 25, but the response was not made public until late April.

Before the new pineapple can be imported to the U.S., Del Monte must complete a food safety consultation with the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA’s website listing approved consultations did not show any pineapple reqults as of April 26.

“APHIS confirms that the harvested Del Monte Rosé pineapple as described in your documentation does not require an importation or interstate movement permit under (federal code),” according to Gregoire’s letter.

“… fruit from the Del Monte Rosé pineapple cultivar does not have the ability to propagate and persist in the environment once they have been harvested.”

In its request to APHIS, Del Monte described the new pineapple variety as having rose-colored flesh.

“To achieve its novel fruit color, Del Monte Fresh has altered expression of genes involved in lycopene biosynthesis to increase levels in edible tissues of pineapple fruit,” according to Del Monte’s request. “The genes of interest are derived from edible plant species, pineapple and tangerine.”

Various Costa Rican media report the Coral Gables, Fla.-based fresh produce company has been working with Costa Rican growers to develop the new pineapple variety since 2005. When the Costa Rican government OK’d expanded plantings in 2011, some environmental groups in the country expressed concerns.

According to its letter to APHIS, 65% of the pineapple Del Monte imports to the U.S. is sold to the fresh sector. Another 15% goes to fresh cut, with the remainder going to juice and frozen products. The new genetically modified variety would be sold in the same channels and at about the same percentages as Del Monte Gold pineapple, according to the letter.

The 2012 financial report from Del Monte showed about a third of the company’s fresh produce sales are from commodities grown in Costa Rica.

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karen charles    
Mt sterling ky  |  May, 18, 2013 at 10:20 AM

To say I eat a lot of pina is an understatement.... like one or two whole ones daily....but the last few months it has been difficult to find any good ones. The quality is similar to those before the " golden" variety. I live in a small town, but the "golden" variety had been readily available until recently....we only have a Kroger & a Walmart. MY question...has there been some kind of harvest problem that has led to a shortage....not leaving enough for smaller markets after supplying larger cities? If so, any idea when problem may be resolved. Thanks, Karen

Westchester, NY  |  June, 03, 2013 at 02:46 PM

I love pineapple but I will not eat it if it's genetically modified. We are Non GMO in my house.

USA  |  June, 11, 2013 at 02:31 PM

I won't be eating it anymore either. No GMO foods are knowingly bought. But this means I won't be buying any of DelMonte foods or anything from Costa Rica either. It's bad enough the USA's food is like poison. So many things we can't and don't buy anymore. I can grow what we need, but it won't be pineapple. I can live without it.

June, 13, 2013 at 07:58 AM

I have to thank the producers of transgenics. Thanks to you I have now eliminated corn, soy, canola oil, cottonseed oil, beet sugar, and all animal products derived from these feeds from my diet and have never felt better! Growing our own fresh vegetables and taking an active part in our own food production has done wonders for my health and well being. The more experiements you produce, the more hands on and more vocal I am about infoming people to these experiments. Thank you for the local, sustainable food production revival!

June, 30, 2013 at 03:18 PM

We don't want experimental laboratory made food-like products in our homes. We will not buy them. Consumers are demanding more heirloom organic produce- this is where our dollars will be spent, since that's the only way we can be heard.

Los Angeles, Ca.  |  November, 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Normally I am set against any GMO product, but this sounds more like tangelos or nectarines, which as far as I know, are alright, made by cross breeding I suppose....I don't think nectarines are self re producing either. Truly it is better not to mix and match, especially not different species...but this sounds o.k.... the reason not to buy them would be to discourage GMO experimentation.( Even manipulation can harm a product; super-glutinous wheat , for instance. Or dwarf dogs, for that matter..)

MASON MICH  |  November, 24, 2013 at 12:41 PM


virginia  |  November, 24, 2013 at 01:05 PM

Wegman's sells this type of organic pine apples near me. 2.99 for a large one. Such a good price we've been eating 1 in a half every week! Though, since GMO's can't be contained, I will stop buying all pineapples, organic or not, from costa rica...

coye burr    
November, 24, 2013 at 01:58 PM

No thanx Boycott all demonte foods don't Trudy martian food

San Francisco  |  November, 24, 2013 at 02:03 PM

Holy crap, a reasonable position! Yes, let's not get too bent out of shape just because something is GMO. Most of what we eat has been genetically modified by humans through breeding and selection. Using test tubes and pipettes just speeds up the process. THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO KNOW *WHY AND HOW* THE ORGANISM WAS MODIFIED GMO is not evil by itself -- it's only evil when you sell terminator seeds to poor farmers, and roundup ready crops so you can cover every field in industrial poison.

Al  |  November, 24, 2013 at 02:19 PM

Maybe it is just cross-breeding on steroids, or possibly something much more. What the corporations and the countries that do this don't get, is we don't trust them to be looking out for our health. They have lost our trust, confidence, and especially our dollars! Thus, I stay away from everything remotely GMO as I am not willing to gamble on mine or my families health. In laymen's terms - not buying anything Del Monte from this point forward unless it is Non-GMO.

BC  |  November, 24, 2013 at 02:24 PM

A cross between a Tangerine and a Pineapple... Better than a cross between a Pineapple and some fish or animals. Still, we don't know enough about what effect GMO's has on Humans! Thanks but no thanks!

Michigan  |  November, 24, 2013 at 04:13 PM

NON GMO family here, won't touch it

USA  |  November, 24, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Actually, the GMO process creates organisms that could NEVER be produced by cross-breeding. The process also requires a way to make sure that all the gene "grafts" take, and how that is done is by engineering an antibiotic resistant gene into every "graft" thus creating an organism that is genetically programed to be resistant to antibiotics. Cross breeding is completely different than genetic engineering, though I used to think this same line too because that is one argument given by the companies that do this engineering that sounds LOGICAL. Unfortunately, it just isn't true.

Italy  |  November, 24, 2013 at 10:39 PM

More power to you keep going don't look back

Italy  |  November, 24, 2013 at 10:41 PM

My comment was to all the people who are against GMOs

Minneapolis  |  November, 25, 2013 at 01:28 AM

Thats like saying monsanto is growing foods that wont kill us either, Get educated everybody, Its like the chem trails they have been dumping on us from the skies. That fake cloud is full of lead, aluminum, new strains of flu, barinium(not sure of the spelling) and alot of other stuff . All intended to depopulate the world this crap is in our water now too

Margo Belamy    
Holiday, Fl 34690  |  November, 25, 2013 at 05:59 AM

No more GMO or farm fed foods. End of story. Monsanto behind this?

WI  |  November, 25, 2013 at 03:32 PM

Not surprising to hear the comment I just read.... You people are so high on yourselves that it sickens me. How is it that the letters GMO come up, and it right away is connected to Monsanto. Del Monte has their own team of breeders that selected traits for the pineapples to have a different color, THATS IT!! no pesticides, hormones, NOTHING!!! While you are giving up foods, why don't you give up your morning counter-culture carrot shake? DYK that carrots are originally purple but because some uppity prince didn't like the color purple(made him nervous) he forced his gardeners t breed a different color to express itself, making it a GMO, but that have been Monsanto as well. the title GMO gets thrown out so much as a negative connotation that gullible people buy into it. Just like the terms to describe rifles. The AR in AR-15 stands for Armalite Rifles, who were the original designers for the platform, not "Assault Rifle" like anti gun lobbyists have portrayed it. I tell you what, a mugger can assault you just as badly with a pistol as he can with any other thing, but I'm sure you may think its still a better out come than if the mugger had a flesh colored pineapple held to your backside.

Bobbi Porter    
Cedar Falls IA  |  November, 25, 2013 at 05:40 PM

I have just taken Del Monte off of my shopping list. My husband has intestinal problems and immune deficiency problems. I have to watch his diet. There is a big difference from naturally grown and GMO. We have cut GMO products out of his diet and he hasn't been deathly ill in a year and a half. I don't care what the corporate paid for research claims, we have done our own, and the results are drastically different than theirs.

Valerie Wells    
New Mexico  |  November, 25, 2013 at 07:07 PM

I wish people who comment on the internet would get their facts straight. No, plants and animals have not been Genetically MODIFIED for centuries. They have been HYBRIDIZED. And YES, there is a huge difference between the two. Hybridization is the marrying of two like genotypes, as in a wolf to a dog, or a dog to a coyote. Or one kind of pine tree to a different kind of pine tree. Genetically Engineering or Modifying anything is forcibly injecting a very different kind of genotype called a Transgene into DNA, such as the gene for BT toxin into the corn gene, or a fish gene into a tomato, or a human liver gene into a rice gene, or .... you catch my drift. Genetically engineering means creating something that never would occur in nature. And also, it means that this pineapple won't reproduce, which means the farmers are tied hand and foot to Del Monte, as normal pineapples will reproduce on their own. More money for Del Monte, less money and more work for the farmers involved. I will not touch it!

Canada  |  November, 25, 2013 at 07:32 PM

Why can't people just leave nature alone we should be eating natural made foods like God intended. We get enough garbage additives in our foods now.

California  |  November, 25, 2013 at 08:35 PM

No GMOs for me...No produced foods from Del Monte will ever be purchased by our household.

Sothern California  |  November, 26, 2013 at 01:59 AM

Please read Genetic Roulette or Seeds of Deception by Jeffrey Smith, or visit the Institute for Responsible Technology's website. Genetic Modification or genetically engineered foods ARE NOT the same as hybridization. They are VASTLY different. Think bob- cat mating with a house cat vs. test tube insemination of a frog eggs with parrot sperm, and even that is an extreme simplification of what they are actually doing. To elaborate - they place dna strands under a microscope, isolate specific gene sequences on that strand which represent the trait they desire, extract them from the strand, mix them with soil bacteria (which they have also genetically altered by similar means to resist an antibiotic), place the mix in a special "gun", then shoot that gun at cells in a petri dish from the plant they are trying to "modify". They then douse the cells with antibiotic. Some cells who's dna was penetrated by the gun blasted antibiotic resistant bacteria survive, are collected, artificially cloned & inserted back into the plant. There is NO knowing what other genes in the dna are damaged, destroyed or altered, or WHERE in the gene sequence the new foreign genes are inserted. The genes they insert are not confined to genes which may, even by any stretch of the imagination, become shared in even the most extreme cross breeding in nature. They take dna from animals & insert them into plants & viceversa, bacteria, fungi, human, you name it.

Southern California  |  November, 26, 2013 at 02:12 AM

Again, please DO NOT confuse GMO with hybridization & selective breeding. They are NOTHING alike. Please read Genetic Roulette &/or Seeds of Deception by Jeffrey Smith or go the the website for the Institute for Responsible Technology to learn more about what exactly Genetic Engineering & Genetic Modification is.

Southern California  |  November, 26, 2013 at 02:21 AM

PLEASE educate yourself on what GMO is before you go condemning others for throwing the term around without knowing what it means. Genetically Modified Organisms produced from Genetic Engineering/Genetic Modification IS NOT THE SAME AS SELECTIVE BREEDING OR HYBRIDIZATION!!! Not even close. Please read Genetic Roulette &/or Seeds of Deception by Jeffrey Smith, or visit the website for the Institute for Responsible Technology for a "play-by-play"' in layman's terms of what GMO's are & how they are created.

Diane Ramsden    
United Kingdon  |  November, 26, 2013 at 03:07 AM

No thank you work with nature and it's laws, we are not God's and when we play we get very bad repercussions. Such as Very Very obese populations because there bodies do not recognize what they are eating as food. This will be the same and so our bodies will store it some where else like joints or fat.

Dayton, Ohio  |  November, 26, 2013 at 03:55 AM

NO, THANK YOU DEL MONTE! It was difficult enough to know, after consuming your products my entire life, AND feeding your food to my children, to discover how the workers that farm for you have been treated. GMO CRAP!!!! NO WAY!!! Adios amigo, and may karma kick you right in your very rich asses! Sincerely, a life long customer that trusted you!

texas  |  November, 26, 2013 at 06:22 AM


Denise Columbia    
San Jose, CA  |  November, 26, 2013 at 02:24 PM

I will not be buying anything from Del Monte anymore until such time as I hear they have chosen to abstain from ALL GMO products. Very sad; I grew up with Del Monte. I do not approve of GMO's in any capacity.

Hawaii  |  November, 26, 2013 at 03:34 PM

Purple foods are good for the blood .. I wonder if the uppity puppety was a high bread reptilian ?

Hawaii  |  November, 26, 2013 at 03:34 PM

Purple foods are good for the blood .. I wonder if the uppity puppety was a high bread reptilian ?

California  |  November, 26, 2013 at 08:17 PM

I will no longer be eating ANY Del Monte products. I am appalled that Costa Rica, a region known for it's adherence to organic goodness, would allow GMO testing there.

California  |  November, 26, 2013 at 08:18 PM

you and me both!

becky jackson    
Bend, OR  |  November, 26, 2013 at 11:24 PM

We too are a family that avoids GMO crops so will add pineapple to the avoid list. I could argue how bad they are and what they do to the soil in the long run but I won't - but whether you think they are good or bad, no support should go to these industries that have lobbied and corruptly taken our food supply hostage by making legislation that makes it illegal to require mandatory labeling. Our largest chemical companies comtrolling almost entire crops - like corn and soy is bad business. I wish we could learn something from all the countries that decline gmo seed. Like Haiti, Mexico and most of Europe. Seed that grows food that can't even be used to reseed itself - one harvest - buy more seed from the chemical company and go again.

Margie Runia    
Central Point, Or  |  November, 26, 2013 at 11:49 PM

I will have to stop buying pineapple if it becomes a GMO food product. I only buy non-GMO foods.

Gary Raehse    
Lynbrook, NY  |  November, 26, 2013 at 11:59 PM

No poisonous GMO foods in my house for my family. We are now crossing Del Monte off our approved list. Eat organic only my friends, and read the labels. If the label doesn't say "NON GMO" then assume that it is GMO.

l owen    
November, 27, 2013 at 01:16 AM

Thinking of all the things I can eat besides pineapple...

Kathy Bordner    
Akron  |  November, 27, 2013 at 04:02 PM

I know that the Bible, The word of God, said, it is not convenient to cross breed, so why are we doing it, is it really necessary? RELLY?

November, 29, 2013 at 02:34 PM

las piñas mexicanas no tienen modificaciones y son muy dulces y sanas, ademas de que llegan A MCALLEN en 24HRS DESPUES DE SER COSECHADAS EN VERACUZ, ESO ES FRESCURA.

November, 29, 2013 at 03:33 PM


SC  |  December, 05, 2013 at 11:49 PM

No thank you to your GMO Pineapple! We don't eat poison here either. Wake up people the population is aware and not buying your GMO garbage. Grow Organic and be ethical, respect Mother Nature. It's never to late to do the right thing!

michele snyder    
December, 27, 2013 at 04:20 PM

We don't want your GMO CRAP!!!!!!

washington  |  January, 04, 2014 at 02:08 PM

I will NOT buy any Del Monte products again.......

Invisi G    
Dallas  |  May, 18, 2014 at 12:39 PM

I'll buy three GM pineapples for every antiGMO comment on this article.

arizona  |  May, 18, 2014 at 05:10 PM

Right On! I wont eat it either! Glad to have found out about it so I can avoid it and tell others the same!

London  |  May, 21, 2014 at 02:56 AM

The level of ignorance and understanding of just how much we humans have always modified the genes, yield and general life cycles of our food since the beginning of agriculture and animal husbandry is astonishing. You people need to go read some history and get a basic understanding of genetics before falling for such anti-science quackery.

Kimberly Nowland    
Michigan 48111  |  May, 21, 2014 at 01:07 PM

I for one eat your pineapple on average 5 days per week. I do not wish to consume any GMO"S ever. I will be looking into other sources if this is your companies direction of the future. Pineapple is probably my favorite food ever. Your was the best. Now I will be worried I am consuming undesirable GMO's so please label which ones are are are not GMO or we will have to just give up on pineapple altogether.

Canada  |  June, 10, 2014 at 07:00 PM

Rakell, I assume you don't eat bananas or seedless watermelons either? Those have both been genetically modified to not have seeds.

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