Trying to buy organic for health reasons?
Your grocery trip just got more complicated.
An engineered coating called “Apeel,” made of mono and diglycerides, can now be applied to any produce sold in the U.S., while still being advertised as “organic.”
Apeel was developed by a company called Apeel Sciences, which the Associated Press has acknowledged received early funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The AP story reported on some confusion concerning the “Apeel” food coating product of Apeel Sciences, because a UK product with the same name has been shown to have potentially damaging human health consequences. (See “Posts misrepresent safety of produce-protecting solution from Apeel,” 18 Apr 2023.)
The Deception of Recent MSM Apeel “Explainer” Articles
The AP story takes pains to push the Apeel Sciences contention concerning their food coating product that it is safe, since it contains ingredients the FDA allows in foods like baby formulas.
And the fact is, mono and diglycerides, the ingredients in the Apeel food coating, meant to extend the freshness of foods, are very common ingredients in many processed foods.
But what the deceptively termed AP “fact check” story—and similar recent MSM articles defending Apeel as a safe product—don’t fairly or fully examine, is the fact that consumers have different expectations and understandings when buying whole “organic” foods, as opposed to “processed food” products.
The real controversy surrounding Apeel is that the FDA is allowing the product to be used on produce, while still allowing that produce to be designated as “organic.”
Critics say foods that contain the coating, which is nearly impossible for consumers to scrub off of produce, should not be allowed to be designated as organic.
The Purpose of Mono and Diglycerides in Processed Foods
Currently, a search for “Apeel” on major search engines like Google and Bing return ready lists of top MSM article results all defending the product as “safe,” and casting criticisms of it as “misinformation.”
But digging further, it wasn’t so long ago that mono and diglycerides in processed foods were a common (and non-censored) topic of discussion and critiquing on health websites.
Mono and diglycerides are elements of some types of fats that have long been used to extend the stable shelf life of many processed foods. As the Apeel Sciences website notes, “Apeel is composed of plant-derived lipids that are consumed regularly in a variety of foods. More specifically, it is made entirely of mono- and diglycerides, also known by the food additive identifier INS 471 or E 471.”
Everything from ice cream, to cake mixes, to bagels, to peanut butter, to packaged treats—and yes, baby formulas—contain the additives.
In a pre Apeel media protection blitz era, foodbabe.com noted concerning the additives:
“Usually labeled as ‘Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids’, or ‘monoglycerides’ and ‘diglycerides’ on an ingredient list – this is one of the most widely used emulsifiers that helps keep oil and fat from separating.”
(“There’s No Safe Level Of This Ingredient, So Why Is It In Almost Everything?”)
The article explained that Mono- and diglycerides may be found in “No Trans Fat” foods and don’t have to be labeled as trans fats, as per FDA requirements, despite the fact that they may contain trans fat. Triglycerides, but not mono or diglycerides, are subject to FDA trans fat labeling.
Concerning the labeling loophole, the article quoted nutrition researcher Mary Enig, Ph.D. on the issue of mono and diglycerides:
“usually by-products of fats and oils processing such as partial hydrogenation and various forms of extraction and interesterification processes. Even though they do have some caloric value, they are not counted as fats, and the fatty acids are not identified as having a particular composition. If they are fatty acids with trans bonds, they are not likely to be identified as such, nor would they be identified as any particular fatty acid…
“… as the public becomes more aware of the dangers of trans fats, the industry may be tempted to add more MGs [monoglycerides] and DGs [diglycerides] containing trans fats in order to obtain the qualities they want in a food without having to list trans fats on the label.”
Apeel Sciences’ own website contains a facile and condescending explanation of the “naturalness” of its product:
“When we say Apeel is inspired by nature, we mean it. The science behind the extra “peel” that we put on fruits and vegetables mirrors a natural defense mechanism that’s been around for millions of years. We will go into more detail below, and if you’d like more specific product safety information, please see this page on our site.
“In Earth’s younger years, all plants lived submerged in water. When plants evolved out of water and started to thrive on dry land, they developed an ultra-thin, protective coating to help them maintain their moisture and protect themselves from other stresses. This micro-peel, known as the cuticle structure, can be found on the leaves, stems, fruits, and flowers of every plant, vegetable, and fruit on earth.
“Inspired by this brilliant example of natural innovation, we created Apeel to give your produce a little extra boost of protection, because once it’s picked from the tree it starts to lose its moisture and freshness. And in a similar fashion to how we mimicked nature’s natural protection strategy, we also turned to nature for our materials.”
In fact, the foods the company is coating with their product very definitely do not have mono and diglycerides naturally coating them.
Via the FDA, Apeel can now take fundamental additives used in many processed foods, and put those additives onto any basic produce item.
In a very real sense, it opens the door to turning every food into a “processed food.”
In a 2019 document to the FDA describing the Apeel product in detail, Apeel Sciences explained the coating contains mono saturated fats derived from grape seeds, and that it would have no harmful effects on humans beyond what other commonly used oils might have:
“It is well established and recognized that monoacylglycerides, including those derived from grape seed, the subject of the present GRAS assessment, are formed in the gastrointestinal tract from the generally accepted metabolic pathway for the breakdown of triglycerides (i.e., lipolysis). The hydrolysis of triglycerides by lipases proceeds through the formation of monoacylglycerides. The free fatty acids released can be further used for triglyceride synthesis. Given the metabolic sequence described above, and by applying scientific procedures, it can be concluded that monoacylglycerides would not pose any health hazards different from commonly consumed dietary oils derived from plants or animals.”
Many health experts and studies acknowledge that different oils can have either beneficial or detrimental effects on human health, depending on the types of fats in them.
65 countries have approved blanket use of the Apeel coating. The EU is one major bloc currently restricting its use on fruits and vegetables, but Apeel is actively lobbying to have those restrictions lifted.
Right now in the U.S., the FDA doesn’t require that foods treated with Apeel be labeled as such.
It wasn’t easy finding info regarding FDA labeling requirements with regard to Apeel, so we asked Bard AI. At least according to Bard, “Apeel Sciences has chosen to voluntarily label its products with the statement ‘with Apeel,’ in order to give consumers the opportunity to make informed choices about the foods they eat.”
Importantly, the FDA allows foods otherwise meeting its specifications for being labeled Organic, to retain that labeling, even if they are treated with Apeel coating.
Many see that as a deception, and a real problem illustrating the state
of corporate influence and manipulation of government agencies that are supposed to be fully informing and protecting American consumers.
(Further) Genetically Designed Pork Soon On Shelves
Pork on shelves is getting a makeover too, as the FDA is close to approving a version from genetically edited pigs, as a result of a process developed at Washington State University.
According to The Daily Mail and thepigsite.com, the scientists selected the desired “best DNA” from one male pig, while using surrogate sires to sterilize male animals by knocking off the NANOS2 gene.
The sterilized pigs were injected with the most attractive pig stem cells to pass on their qualities via their sperm.
Think of it as pig eugenics, carried out via CRISPR technology.
Pigs may be considered some of the smarter animals on earth, but it’s doubtful the boars realize that those piglets they’re producing have genes of another papa.
As for humans, whether they’ll accept genetically edited pork–and soon, an explosion of genetically edited everything, as The Trends Journal has long predicted—is something worth contemplating before plating up at the next pig roast. (See “GENETIC MODIFICATIONS BEING PREPPED TO ‘SOLVE’ EVERYTHING,” 18 Jan 2022.)
Whole sections of industry websites like thepigsite.com now focus on genetic technologies. (See, for example, https://www.thepigsite.com/genetics-and-reproduction-2.)
WSU professor Jon Oatley, who led the gene-editing pork project, said its main objective was to improve meat quality, as well as livestock’s ability to survive harsh environments, which will help underdeveloped countries increase protein sources.
He noted ongoing efforts to persuade the FDA to approve the genetically edited pork:
“The original intent in making these animals was to try to improve the way that we feed people. And we can’t do that unless we can work with the FDA system to get these animals actually into the food chain.”
The FDA has previously okayed genetically altered pork for sale and consumption.
In December 2020, in a first, the agency announced via a press release that it had “approved a first-of-its-kind intentional genomic alteration (IGA) in a line of domestic pigs, referred to as GalSafe pigs, which may be used for food or human therapeutics. This is the first IGA in an animal that the FDA has approved for both human food consumption and as a source for potential therapeutic uses. The IGA in GalSafe pigs is intended to eliminate alpha-gal sugar on the surface of the pigs’ cells. People with Alpha-gal syndrome (AGS) may have mild to severe allergic reactions to alpha-gal sugar found in red meat (e.g., beef, pork, and lamb).” (“FDA Approves First-of-its-Kind Intentional Genomic Alteration in Line of Domestic Pigs for Both Human Food, Potential Therapeutic Uses,” 14 Dec 2023.)
In 2020, the FDA also approved genetic edits to “slick-haired cattle” that resulted in coats that made them more resilient to higher temperatures.
In just a few years, food editing to protect humans suffering allergen maladies, to food editing meant to “improve” the health and other qualities of food, according to the imagination and CRISPR facility of researchers, has accelerated along what many consider an accelerated and very slippery slope.
The Trends Journal has previously pointed out that CRISPR gene editing cannot be done without creating unintended genetic alterations, as well as targeted ones. (See “CRISPR GENE EDITING FOR FOOD, UNFORESEEN MUTATIONS INCLUDED,” 2 May 2023.)
The FDA recognizes some level of risk in the fine print, concerning the unintended potentials of gene editing.
The agency is green-lighting genetically edited foods via a determination that they are “low risk” for causing health problems in humans.