Just Keep Spinning: an apple grower’s mantra

I’m training for a bike ride. As a cyclist in Tour de Fresh my goal is to raise money for salad bars in schools. We’ll pedal 230 miles through California and climb nearly 10,000 feet. It’s a little intimidating because my training ground is flat Manitoba and the Canadian Prairies aren’t conducive to preparing me for those hills. During my recent visit to the Okanagan Specialty Fruits office, our founder Neal Carter asked me how it was going. I responded along the lines of “Okay, but there’s this big hill on day three of the ride…”, thinking of my Manitoba flats. Neal said
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Moms’ thoughts on fruits & veggies

The Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation promotes fruit and vegetable consumption to better the health of Americans. PBH conducts annual surveys to better understand habits surrounding and attitudes towards fruit and vegetable consumption in America. Their latest research gives insight into what Moms’ think and feel about fruit and vegetable consumption, comparing data collected from 2007-2015. Highlights include the best methods of communicating to Moms, the support Moms feel they need most to improve their family’s fruit and vegetable consumption, and, something we know a bit about, the importance of maximizing convenient produce options. We invite you to check
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Dr Christine Rosenbloom shares her thoughts on GM foods

These days, there are lots of different opinions about food, and all these ideas can make for a confusing trip to the grocery store! Dr Christine Rosenbloom often sees this first hand, so she wrote a blog about what she as a Dietician wishes her friends knew about GM foods. Dr Christine Rosenbloom is a nutrition professor emerita at Georgia State University. She has a PhD, is a Registered Dietician and a Certified Specialist in Sport Dietetics. You can contact and learn more about Chris on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.   Her latest post explores important points such as:
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Food Product Design shares OSF guest post

A guest post from OSF president Neal Carter was shared today by Food Product Design via their “Trending Foods” blog, which “examines the latest news, market trends, surveys and stats that are helping shape the food industry”. In the post, Neal overviews the rigorous development and review process for biotech foods, and highlights some of the key benefits and applications of nonbrowning Arctic® apples – we hope you’ll check out the full post right here!
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Joanna Sax: GMOs – Science battles with the public again

Joanna Sax, PhD, JD, is the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and a Professor of Law at the California Western School of Law in San Diego, and we are very pleased to share a guest post of hers on the disconnect between public opinion and the scientific community when it comes to GMOs: GMO foods are fighting a hard battle with the public. Some concerns by the public may be warranted, other concerns have no factual basis.  We have a problem with our food supply. Children are dying of starvation.  Not only do we need more food, but
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Neal Carter: Perception of biotech foods boosted by consumer benefits

There’s no question that farmers are well aware of the benefits biotech crops can offer, as ag-biotech is the fastest adopted crop technology in history with 18 million farmers currently growing biotech crops worldwide. Consumers, on the other hand, have not yet seen many direct benefits for themselves, nor have they been the focus of educational efforts until recently. OSF president Neal Carter explains, in an opinion piece published by Fresh Fruit Portal, that the rise of educational efforts, and the “next wave” of biotech crops with direct benefits for consumers will help foster a positive shift in consumer perceptions
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Dr. Savage: RNAi mechanism is common, natural

The mechanism by which we introduce the nonbrowning trait into Arctic® apples is called RNA-interference (RNAi), and as Dr. Steve Savage explains, it’s a common, natural means of gene regulation. Unfortunately, some anti-GMO’ers have a habit of using misleading statements to make any biotech-enhanced product sound scary. A longtime director with the Union of Concerned Scientists, a group that has a prolonged history of opposing ag-biotech, Dr. Margaret Mellon recently published an Op-Ed that suggests the use of RNAi raises potential safety concerns. For an overview of Dr. Mellon’s critiques of ag-biotech, we recommend checking out the recording of a
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Highlighting Dr. Ania Wieczorek’s “Biotech in Focus” series

Earlier this year, a fantastic new series of bulletins covering a wide range of biotechnology-related topics was launched – “Biotech in Focus”. Spearheaded by Dr. Ania Wieczorek, each bi-weekly newsletter focuses on a single key topic, and manages to pull relevant examples, images and information into a concise, two-page PDF. The content, as well as the format, make each bulletin a valuable educational resource. Dr. Wieczorek, who counts teaching science to children in her community among her duties, is Director of the Biotechnology Outreach Program at the University of Hawaii. And, while she has recognized the ability for biotechnology to
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Consumers choose GE corn over conventional

David Walton, whose family has been farming in Iowa since 1836, has a philosophy that “each generation MUST leave the soil in better condition than we found it”. To this end, he employs a variety of crop production methods, including both GE and conventional seed, to produce high-quality food. Despite seeing the value biotechnology can often offer to farmers like himself, he’s often wondered if the public would embrace biotech crops more readily if these foods offered direct consumer benefits. David recently put that speculation to the test by selling both GE and conventional sweet corn at his roadside stand.
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Top 10 Consumer Questions About GMOs – Part 2

Continuing our countdown of GMOAnswers’ expert responses to the top-10 questions consumers have about biotech foods, here are #1-5: 5)  Are GMOs contaminating organic food crops? This is an important issue, and not a new one; neighboring farmers managing different crops and production methods have been going on long before GE crops were introduced. While pollen drift does occur in some instances, low-level presence of a biotech trait is allowed in organic production as long as the proper organic protocols are observed, so the risk to organic growers is minimal. As an aside, for Arctic® apples in particular the risk
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