Exploring the marker gene used in Arctic® apples

As you can read about in our FAQ section, the process required to transform a conventional apple to an Arctic® variety necessitates the use of a marker gene that makes the plant tissue resistant to the antibiotic kanamycin. This process requires a doctorate in molecular biology to fully comprehend, so we turn to our head scientist John Armstrong, who just happens to have these credentials.  Should people worry that the insertion of our marker gene may add a new protein to Arctic® apples? The simple answer is no, as there are no proteins expressed in Arctic® apples that aren’t in conventional apples.
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Arctic® Apples: more apples for consumers, less for the garbage

Consumers prefer a “perfect apple” to a damaged one, and the apple industry is well aware of this. Even superficially bruised fruit is rarely bought, so much of the annually produced 200 million bushels of U.S. apples end up going to waste instead of being consumed. Superficial bruising is something that does not show on Arctic® Apples. This fruit truly has nothing wrong with it, other than visual appeal. Today, apples with even minor superficial bruising usually don’t make it through the supply chain. It’s been reported that “even under the best conditions, 10 percent or more of the crop
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You can help! U.S. government now seeking public input on Arctic® apples

Good news! We are happy to announce that the U.S. government has opened their review of our nonbrowning Arctic® apples for public input. You can read our official press release announcing the news here. (We’ve previously blogged about the process to approve biotechnology foods in the United States here and updated here.) We are very pleased to be able to finally share with you the extensive science-based information that we were required to collect by this federal agency. This day has been 15 years in the making for our little company! And we are honored to be one of the
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U.S. regulator seeks comments on biotechnology-produced nonbrowning Arctic® apple

Summerland, B.C., Canada – The U.S. government is now seeking the public’s input on Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny apples, two nonbrowning varieties that have been produced through biotechnology by Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. (OSF). The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) has opened its review for U.S. public comment, which allows U.S. citizens to submit their input on Arctic® apples for APHIS’ review. OSF’s Arctic® apples are among the first biotechnology plants/plant foods to undergo a recently-enhanced U.S. agency review process that now includes two opportunities for public input (summarized here). APHIS announced opening of
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CFIA comment period on Arctic® apples comes to a close

Early May, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) posted the “Notice of Submission” for the deregulation of Arctic® apples on their website and asked the public for their comments. This comment period concluded yesterday (July 3) and we want to extend our appreciation and thanks to everyone who submitted positive statements in support of Arctic® apples. This represents a big step toward bringing our nonbrowning apples to market in Canada (learn more here) and we were extremely encouraged by many of the letters that were submitted. One such letter that we are pleased to share with you comes from Dr. David
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