How’d Apeel get into USDA Organic? Ask the Organic Materials Review Institute…

Apeel, a mysterious Bill Gates and World Economic Forum-backed food coating that makes rotting produce appear fresh, is approved for use on USDA Organic produce under the name Organipeel.

The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) gave it the green light, presumably based on citric acid being the active ingredient. Citric acid is a non-organic ingredient allowed in organic as long as it isn’t synthetic, but it’s only 0.66 percent of the Organipeel formulation!

Ask OMRI: What’s in the other 99.34 percent of Organipeel?

At first blush, concerns about Apeel seemed like fake news. Fact checkers were quick to point out that the safety data sheet circulating the internet was for a different product with the same name, not for the edible food coating backed by Bill Gates and the World Economic Forum that was raising hackles on social media.

But, when members of the Organic Consumers Association alerted us to news that Apeel’s is being used in organic, we had to investigate.

How big of a food safety concern is Apeel?

Given everything else Bill Gates and the World Economic Forum expect us to swallow or inject, we can’t be too skeptical, but are the problems with Apeel on the same level as other food safety concerns? 

Is it as important to avoid Apeel as it is to reject genetically engineered foods? Toxic pesticides? Factory-farmed animal products laced with livestock drugs, including mRNA vaccines? Indigestible insects? Lab-grown meat-replacements?

Our conclusion is that Apeel carries the same health problems of similar preservatives commonly used to extend the shelf-life of ultra-processed food. On that basis alone, our advice is to avoid Apeel, including the version used on Starr Ranch’s organic apples, known as Organipeel.

We have additional concerns that Apeel is produced using synthetic biology, a new and extreme form of genetic engineering.

The main ingredient in Apeel is monoacylglycerides.

According to Apeel’s GRAS notice submission to the FDA for Edipeel, the industrial process they use to extract monoacylglycerides from grape seed leaves residues of ethyl acetate, heptane, palladium, arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury

A European Food Safety Authority review of monoacylglycerides (E 471) notes that “the potential exposure to toxic elements resulting from the consumption of E 471 could be substantial.” 

Another EFSA review warns of the possible presence of the carcinogen glycidol in monoacylglycerides.

Monoacylglycerides are among a number of environmental compounds that could be causing diabetes due to their capacity to increase insulin secretion in the absence of high blood sugar. (See “Diabetes: Have We Got It All Wrong?: Insulin hypersecretion and food additives: cause of obesity and diabetes?”)

What’s Apeel doing in organic?

It’s hard to understand how the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) approved Organipeel. According to its EPA registration, Organipeel is 0.66 percent citric acid, a non-organic substance that’s allowed in organic as long as it isn’t synthetic. 

Apeel doesn’t disclose what’s in the other 99.34 percent of the product!

Apeel’s patents* claim that, “In some preferred embodiments, the coatings are made from the same chemical feedstocks that are naturally found in the plant cuticle, (e.g., hydroxy and/or dihydroxy palmitic acids, and/or hydroxy or epoxy oleic and stearic acids) and can thus be organic and all-natural.”

It strains credulity to believe that Organipeel could be composed exclusively of ingredients allowed in organic food. If Starr Growers expects organic consumers to eat their Organipeel-coated apples, they should make the entire ingredients list available to consumers.

Is Apeel synbio?

Apeel is frequently listed among the best-funded synbio companies.

In 2018, founder and CEO Dr. James Rogers told FoodNavigator that Apeel would soon use synthetic biology instead of extracting its ingredients from agricultural byproducts. 

A 2019 post on the Apeel blog celebrated Jennifer Doudna, the inventor of CRISPR-mediated genome editing:

The world is rightfully excited about CRISPR. This groundbreaking technique not only enables scientists to add or remove genetic material with much greater precision but also much faster and cheaper than any previous method. Moreover, it works efficiently in virtually all cell types and organisms tested. This not only enables molecular biologists to do more complex genetic experiments but also provides a pathway towards true synthetic biology by design.

Doudna has been working for DARPA on “unwanted genome-editing” in other words, the use of CRISPR as a biological weapon.

What’s Apeel’s relationship with the World Economic Forum?

Not only has Apeel been supported by Bill Gates and the World Economic Forum, but founder and CEO Dr. James Rogers is a WEF Young Global Leader.

In April 2020, he wrote an article for the WEF celebrating the COVID lockdowns as good for the environment and a model for future action on climate change.

What’s the appeal of Apeel?

The Weston A. Price Foundation wrote an informative article about Apeel back in 2018, “Is Apeel Appealing?” that concluded:

Do our foods need to be traveling on boats for months at a time before sitting on shelves even longer? And what about the nutritional value of our foods? Will it be affected by Apeel and does that matter to us? Is Apeel’s “second skin” even appealing?

Ultimately, the arrival of Apeel in the marketplace can serve to remind us of the many reasons to eat local, traditional, organic, biodynamic and chemical-free foods.

That’s the most important take-away. Nowhere does anyone claim that Apeel does anything to maintain nutrient density.

Even with refrigeration, every day post-harvest is a loss. Most produce loses 30 percent of nutrients three days after harvest.

Get the best nutrition by eating straight from the garden or farmers’ market. You’ll have no need for Apeel!

*Apeel’s patents:

Plant extract compositions for forming protective coatings

Method for preparing and preserving sanitized products

Agricultural skin grafting

Precursor compounds for molecular coatings

Plant extract compositions and methods of preparation thereof

Compositions formed from plant extracts and methods of preparation thereof


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I’m concerned about an OMRI listed product called Organipeel. 

Organipeel is a preservative.

According to its manufacturer, Apeel, it “provides reduction of spoilage and decay.”

Coating organic produce with Organipeel is a violation of organic standards, which exclude substances whose primary use is as a preservative.

According to its EPA registration, Organipeel’s active ingredient is citric acid, but that’s only 0.66 percent of the formulation and the other 99.34 percent isn’t disclosed. 

How can it be made entirely with allowed substances? 

Organipeel is being used to coat apples, which people generally eat without peeling. 

Please explain what’s in Organipeel and how OMRI decided to approve it. 

Thanks for your help!

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