Apeel is approved in Australia for use on all fruits and vegetables and there are no labelling laws. What is Apeel?
The product Apeel is yet another example of stupidity when it comes to the goodness of organic, regeneratively grown fruits and vegetables.
The media shows it as preserving food and reducing food waste, hunger of communities and saving humanity, but I see it as another chemical being sprayed on food for financial gains.
The marketing for this product describes Apeel as simply another layer of what already exists naturally on fruits and vegetables but when we look deeper, the marketing isn’t exactly telling the whole truth.
Instead of empowering people to have fruit trees in their yards and nature strips, this is yet another attempt to stop the natural ripening, progression, and spoilage of food. There is no long-term safety studies on what it may do to the health of the gut microbiome, the gut integrity and soil ecology.
So What is Apeel or Organipeel (the organic version)?
Apeel is the company and the name of the product that is making a coating for fruits and vegetables that is meant to extend the shelf life of the food. The company was funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and founded by World Economic Forum Young Leader James Rogers.
Australia’s FSANZ have approved the coating as has the US FDA for all fruits and vegetables. In the USA, it will have to labelled but there seems to be no labelling laws happening in Australia or if there are, it is a state-by-state basis. Even if the food that has been treated is labelled, I’m concerned about restaurants, cafes and food processors using these coated fruits and vegetables but not having to declare anything on the label.
The EU have allowed this product on citrus, avocado, pineapple, papaya, banana, mango, melon and pomegranate. In other words, for foods where you will remove the skin and therefore do not eat the coating. Whereas in other countries like Australia, and the USA it is allowed on all fruits and vegetables. This coating cannot be washed off.
I asked FSANZ for clarification of the approval here is their letter to me.
Your enquiry regarding approval for mono and diglycerides (Apeel application) on coatings on all fruits and vegetables has come through to me.
The amendments resulting from Apeel’s application (application A1191) were approved on 3 Feb 2021 and have been in effect from 22 April 2021. The changes were made to Schedule 15-5 of the Code. You can access Schedule 15 via our website.
You may wish to have a look at the A1191 approval report for details on labelling. If you require further advice on labelling and meeting Code requirements, I would suggest contacting your relevant State or Territory enforcement agency, we cannot provide this advice.
I then asked for clarification on labelling:
The labelling requirements are found in Part 1.2 of the Food Standards Code, Labelling and Other Information Requirements. You do need to be aware of and understand these requirements for making and selling food in Australia and NZ.
In other words no labelling laws required.
It’s very much like when you read an ingredient label, there is no sign of any of the chemicals on the label that were used in the growing process such as glyphosate, paraquat, chlorpyrifos, atrazine but it is inevitable that these chemicals will be in some parts per million or billion in the food.
Another example of this, is the process that is done to lettuce, greens, cut fruits and vegetables where you will not see the ingredient – natureseal on the list as it is a process not an ingredient. I write about Natureseal in my book Lab to Table.
Let’s take a popular apple cider vinegar that has been purchased by a famous singer and her husband who also have ties with Bill and Melinda Gates. If they are using the apples sprayed with Apeel to make the apple cider vinegar, what are the additional contaminants now added into the product. To make sure, I will be purchasing my local Hilbilby Fire Tonic over any other apple cider vinegar product moving forward.
Apeel is applied in two stages;
Stage 1- Before harvest it’s called invisipeel, it has pesticidal, fungicidal and preservative qualities.
Stage 2 – After harvest called Edipeel, it is a physical barrier
Together they are called Apeel, it can only be applied by an apeel scientist, or someone trained by the scientist. It cannot be washed off. Here is an old screen shot from the Apeel website:
They have stated that they only use food ingredients but as you will see below, most of these ingredients cannot be found in a pantry! Well maybe salt, however I would never use a refined salt and definitely not vegetable oil that has been turned into glycerides using solvents, heavy metals and trans fats.
Here are the Ingredients.
Glycerolipids (vegetable oils) mono and di glycerides, esters amides, thiols, carboxylic acids, ethers, aliphalic waxes, alcohols, salts (inorganic and organic) alkenyl groups including propenyl, n-butenyl, in cis and trans bonds (in other words trans fats)
The Organic Apeel contains 0.6% citric acid and 99.4% other ingredients but I can’t find clarification of the other 99.4% of ingredients.
Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients.
All of the ingredients are GRAS (generally regarded as safe), each has been tested individually but not tested in conjunction with each other.
The patent for making the glycerol which is just one of the ingredients is seen in the screen shot below.
Heptane or ethyl acetate may be used interchangeably as the solvent, here is the safety data sheet.
Questions to ask
Who is making the chemicals/ingredients
- What are the plant materials they are sourcing and are they GM or sprayed with glyphosate and other chemicals
- Are they coming from all over the world to a factory to put together?
- What are the processes and what chemicals are they using to extract the fats
- Why are trans fats in the final product?
- What is the patent and what testing has been done for contaminants?
- What is the environmental impact and how does it affect the microbiome?
- How does it affect soil ecology?
- How does it affect overall health and what are the long-term ramifications of consuming this product?
I’m grateful for the stores who have decided to not purchase produce coated in Apeel, I know that Costco USA have declared they will not purchase fresh produce coated in Apeel and I’m hoping Australian Costco will follow.
I’m not sure if the processing with Apeel has started in Australia but to be safe, purchase your fruit and vegetables from your local farmers market. Ask questions of your local IGA store to make sure they are not buying products laced in Apeel.
Please see the references below so that you can also research this yourself and stay tuned for further updates from me as I receive them.