Why start with nonbrowning apples?

At Okanagan Specialty Fruits, one of the most common questions we get is, “What made you choose nonbrowning apples as your first product?” As with most crops, there are plenty of pests that can make life very difficult for apple growers, such as fire blight and apple scab, and the majority of biotech crops to date have focused on what we call input or agronomic traits, which assist in the production of the crop. While we’re also working on solutions to some of the challenges faced by our fellow orchardists, we believe the potential impact of Arctic® apples is just
Read More

Improving our food supply: Biotech apples and beyond

International Human Press (ITHP), an online news organization that publishes original articles written by industry experts, is currently featuring an article from OSF’s president and founder, Neal Carter. Per their website, ITHP aims to “focus on educational stories involving science, health, innovative technology” so it’s easy to see why they reached out to Neal for his thoughts on agricultural innovation, especially concerning biotech crops and our nonbrowning Arctic® apples. “Improving our food supply: Biotech apples and beyond” takes a glimpse into the history of agriculture and concludes it’s a history of innovation. Yet, because consumers in many industrialized countries are
Read More

With final comment period over, what's next?

The eagerly-awaited conclusion to the USDA’s final comment period on Arctic® apples came last month, so what’s next? In a word, deregulation! Before we get ahead of ourselves, though, it will still take the USDA at least a couple months to finalize their EA (Environmental Assessment) and prepare a FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact) for Arctic apples.  As the USDA prepares their final paper work, they will be reviewing around 5,000 submissions received between Nov. 8th and Jan. 30th regarding their EA and PPRA (Plant Pest Risk Assessment) of Arctic apples. Though predictable, many submitted remarks fell under a
Read More

NY Times: “We Need GMO Wheat”

This week, there’s an Op-Ed in the New York Times that really separates the (biotech) wheat from the chaff. The article, “We Need G.M.O. Wheat”, discusses the benefits biotech has offered to U.S. corn and soy producers, and why it can do the same for wheat. It’s written by Jason Lusk, an author and professor of agricultural economics, and Henry Miller, M.D, author and Hoover Institution Fellow. These two experts succinctly highlight key points, such as: 90% of U.S. corn and soy is now biotech due to the advantages they offer Yields for both of these crops has increased since
Read More