The browning of apples is a natural process. It's as natural a process as it gets.
Okay, so cancer-causing chemicals is one thing (although the key word in that quote is "suspected"), but to modify an apple to simply prevent bruising is just too far in my book. What's more, based on what I've read, I have to side with the critics who argue that it is not clear, and may not be for a while, if this GM process of Okanagan Specialty Fruits, the company responsible for this whole thing, will lead to adverse effects for these apple consumers--humans, insects, and animals alike. This article in The Guardian is another good resource for news of this recent USDA approval.
There are two quotes from a few of these resources I read that I'd like to close with:
The first is from the this article on Biology Fortified. The author closes with this question posed to her readers: "Remember that fresh fruit tray that this post started with? Which would you prefer – apples treated with chemicals or heat, apples bred to brown a little more slowly, or apples engineered to silence the enzyme that causes browning?"
My response: How about "None of the above"? Give me my apples as naturally as they come. If I find one a bit bruised or with a bug hole in it, then I'll just put it back and grab another. I don't need GM apples.
The second quote is from The Guardian article I mentioned just above. Director Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association believes, “This whole thing is just another big experiment on humans for no good reason."
I couldn't have said it better myself.
To be sure that you are buying the most natural produce in the grocery store, check those omnipresent stickers that you sometimes forget to remove before biting into your afternoon snack. This Consumer Reports link sheds some light on what those PLU codes included on this stickers mean.
Most notably: A five-digit code that starts with an 8 means the item is genetically modified. The annoying part is that PLU codes are not mandatory so you may have to go a bit out of your way (e.g. research the company) to find out if your produce has been genetically modified or not.