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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Arctic® Apples help show fruits’ true quality

We have heard some people wonder, “since Arctic® apples are nonbrowning, won’t that mean older and lower quality fruit can look better than it really is?” The answer is that not only will Arctic® apples rot just like other apples, they also don’t show superficial damage which makes it much easier to tell when an apple really has gone bad. As discussed before, we have silenced the gene sequence that controls the production of polyphenol oxidase (PPO), which initiates enzymatic browning in apples. Enzymatic browning (a.k.a. primary browning) occurs when an apple’s cells are damaged, such as through cutting, bruising or
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Ag-West Bio: Arctic® apples reduce food waste, offer market options

We are very pleased to share a recent article by the President & CEO of Ag-West Bio, Dr. Wilf Keller, titled “Okanagan Specialty Fruits technology reduces food waste, offers market options”. Ag-West Bio is a not-for-profit, member-based organization that aims to act as a catalyst for Saskatchewan’s bioeconomy and grow the province’s life science sector. Their President, Dr Wilf Keller, has a doctoral degree with specialization in Crop Science and is a well-regarded expert in the field of biotechnology.   We encourage you to click here to view this article in full on Ag-West Bio’s official website, and hope you
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Economic, environmental benefits of crop biotechnology are clear

According to a comprehensive new study, global farm income gains from crop biotechnology increased $78.4 billion from 1996-2010, and this trend will continue. Sounds pretty nice, but who is really benefitting? Well, this study demonstrates that the majority of 2010 farm income gains went to farmers in developing countries, 90% of which are small, resource poor farms. The benefits don’t stop at increasing profits for hardworking, low-income farmers, though. Other findings of the study show that over the fifteen years studied, crop biotechnology reduced pesticide usage by 438 million kilograms. In 2010 alone, biotech crops were responsible for greenhouse gas
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Cross pollination concerns? Don’t bee-lieve it!

A concern some people have about crops produced through biotechnology is the potential for cross-pollination of these crops with conventional or organic crops. In our case, bees pollinate Apple blossoms; so some wonder what’s to stop the bees from carrying pollen from Arctic® apples to other orchards? A very good question, but luckily, we have a very good answer! Apple blossoms must be pollinated through the transfer of pollen by bees. Bees carry an apple flower’s male reproductive cells to the “stigma”, the female reproductive part of a flower. Since orchards often have thousands of trees, LOTS of bees are needed!
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Japan approves papaya produced through biotechnology

A few short months ago, a huge victory was won for biotechnology produced food worldwide. The Rainbow papaya, a variety enhanced through biotechnology to resist the ringspot virus, was approved for shipment to Japan. A chief factor that makes Japan’s approval of these papayas such big news is that this announcement marks the “first horticultural product, and the first direct-to-consumer food product to gain regulatory approval in Japan” (per this report from USDA Foreign Agricultural Service). Considering that the approval process began in 1999, this acceptance is a triumph that’s long overdue! This was not just a victory for biotech advocates,
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The World Apple Report: Arctic® Apples Tell Story

Following up from a previous article we shared on our blog, we are pleased to post another article recently published in “The World Apple Report” by Dr. Desmond O’Rourke, the founder and CEO of Belrose, Inc. In it, our company’s recent consumer research showing consumer interest in a nonbrowning apple is highlighted. Dr. O’Rourke’s company specialize in world apple market analysis, and if you would like to learn more about him, Belrose Inc. and “The World Apple Report” please visit their website. To view a PDF copy of first two pages of the May 2012 edition of the “The World
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