Biotechnology and you

For centuries, conventional plant breeders have crossbred existing tree fruit varieties in an effort to produce new varieties or to bring desired traits into an existing variety. While this approach has had its success stories, it often takes decades of intensive work.

Biotechnology provides new breeding tools

Today, science has provided plant breeders with a new set of tools that simply allow for more precision in their continued search for better tree fruit varieties. The rapidly-growing agricultural biotechnology sector has the potential to greatly enhance quality of life in terms of health, safety, the environment, food security, and social and economic development. It offers economic opportunities for social and economic advancement, particularly in market development and job creation.

Biotechnology deserves a fair chance

More research is needed to bring biotechnology products to the marketplace, but equally important is the need to provide educational opportunities to allay consumers' and others' concerns about this technology. There is no scientific evidence that the risks associated with biotechnology are any greater than those of traditional methods of breeding and selection.

Foods enhanced through biotechnology are highly regulated

Concern over the long-term effects of genetic changes to food products are taken very seriously by government regulators and the biotechnology industry, including Okanagan Specialty Fruits. Canada and the United States have strict regulations and procedures in place regarding our food supply system. These regulations have earned our countries a reputation for having the safest food supplies in the world. This reputation must not be compromised by the introduction of biotechnology products.

In Canada, Health Canada, under the Food and Drugs Act, is responsible for food safety. This includes all compositional considerations for food, the setting of standards and the conducting of food safety assessments. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for the inspection and monitoring of Plants with Novel Traits (PNTs), which include agricultural biotechnology derived products and other novel products, to ensure registered products meet quality, environmental and safety standards after registration.

In the United States, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for food safety; the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible for inspecting, monitoring and regulating the environmental release of plants derived through the use of recombinant DNA technology. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the safety of pesticides, including pesticide-resistant plants.

By the time they arrive at marketplace, OSF’s commercial varieties will be the most tested, assessed and safest tree fruits ever released.

Biotechnology promises to help farmers

Biotechnology can help meet the food production needs of tomorrow, as well as the demand for specialty products. OSF is committed to that objective with our leading-edge research and application of biotechnology, while ensuring food safety standards will not be compromised in any measure.

Our company has taken a conservative approach to our development of agricultural biotechnology solutions, putting health and food safety concerns ahead of product development. Our philosophy of focusing on gene silencing or amplification to deliver the trait changes we seek is consistent with this approach. 

If you have any questions or concerns about our technology, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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