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You can use "touch -mt YYYYMMDDhhmm" followed by your file name/path, of course replacing YYYYMMDDhhmm with your desired date. I recommend typing "man touch" into terminal to look at the manual and different command options there.
The meta data is stored in so called extended file attributes. The extended file attributes are stored in a named fork. So in essence forks are still very much used on OS X. However, the specific "resource fork" as managed by the Resource Manager API is deprecated, as you describe.
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