Researchers at E.B. State University announced this week that they developed a genetically modified peep just in time for the Easter holiday.
“Our goal was to breed a peep that is better for the environment and good for the consumer,” says Dr. April Lapin, lead scientist on the project.
The new ‘Sparkle’ peep can reportedly grow using half the water and a third less carbon emissions than other peeps. In addition, this new peep has been bred to exhibit a dazzling new ‘fun sparkle’ color pattern.
“With all the anti-GMO rhetoric in the news these days, we were worried about consumer acceptance of the new peeps. We’ve tried to be up-front about everything we’re doing, especially the environmental and safety testing, and we hope that the ‘Sparkle’ color pattern will help people get into the Easter holiday spirit. We sure think they look great!”
Why did her team decide to use such controversial breeding methods?
In year’s past, so-called ‘traditional breeding methods’ were used to develop now commonly available peep strains, such as red and blue peeps. However, some of these methods, Dr. Lapin explains, involved the use of radiation or toxic chemicals to induce mutations in the peeps. “Those methods were really hit or miss in terms of getting stable color patterns, and I was always nervous about my staff’s safety when working with some of the chemicals. With modern genetic engineering, we avoid a lot of those problems.”
Not everyone is so happy about these developments in peep breeding.
“This is clearly a case of Big Business interfering with a beloved Easter tradition,” complains Shirley Green, who works for the non-profit Center for Confectionery Purity. Ms. Green expressed concern over the validity of the safety testing done by E.B. State and several other independent researchers, citing instead a poorly replicated study sponsored by her organization. The Confectionery Purity study indicates that GMO lollipops can stain the tongues of children green after only a brief exposure.
“The natural form of peeps is pure sugar and yellow #5,” says Green. “Nature knows what it’s doing, and we shouldn’t mess with it.”