Following up on our January blog, we would like to further address why Arctic®, conventional and organic trees can successfully coexist. As previously explained (see blog and FAQ), apple trees are propogated by grafting, not seed, are pollinated by bees, not wind, and don’t escape and grow in the wild. The risk of cross-pollination is minimal, and we further mitigate that risk with our strict stewardship standards (e.g., requirements for hive placement, buffer rows). And, in the unlikely event cross-pollination did occur, only traces of Arctic material would be present in some of the seeds.
Consider the statement by Robert Wager that “in 16 years of monumental growth of both GM and organic agriculture there has never been a case of decertification of an organic crop caused by trace amounts of GM pollen or seed.” Even if cross-pollination were to occur, an Organic Program Manager from Nature’s Path Foods has explained that “a farmer does not necessarily lose their organic certification as a result of unintended GE contamination, as long as the farmer can demonstrate that they have taken the necessary steps to follow the industry standards.”
Certification and pollination issues aside, having greater diversity in the marketplace can help create a more robust, sustainable apple industry. A May 2012 study found that consumer values are rapidly changing and that this new environment will necessitate “rapid growth for new concepts and products.” The study also found that convenience and freshness are becoming increasingly valued, and Arctic® apples will help meet that demand.
As we always say, our goal is to get more people eating more apples – and we look forward to working with all apple growers to make this mutual goal a reality!