Press Release: Arctic® Fuji apple one step closer to U.S. regulatory approval

  Summerland, B.C., Canada – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has publicly shared the final version of Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.’s (OSF) petition seeking regulatory approval for Arctic® Fuji apples, a nonbrowning variety produced through biotechnology. In an announcement published August 10, 2016, USDA APHIS stated that they have reached a preliminary decision to extend their determination of nonregulated status to OSF’s nonbrowning Arctic® Fuji variety. In addition to publishing OSF’s petition, APHIS has also shared their preliminary finding of no significant impact, and preliminary extended determination and plant pest risk assessment. USDA
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A Precautionary Tale of Citrus Decline

The World Apple Report is an eagerly anticipated monthly publication for apple growers like us, and the Nov. 2015 issue had a story we are particularly interested in sharing. Typically accessible by a paid subscription only, we were graciously given permission to share the article in its entirety below (with a few minor edits). We believe it’s a great case study for the risks of being overly conservative when it comes to embracing the benefits that biotechnology can offer: Precautionary Tale of Citrus Decline Oranges have been among the world’s great fruits for many decades. However, their position is now
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OSF’s Neal Carter interviewed on “Talking Biotech” Podcast

When you tune in to the excellent podcast series “Talking Biotech” you’ll hear each episode open with the following quotes, and they provide a strong case for why this podcast is so important: “I want to see science serve a useful purpose to improve the standard of living for allpeople.” (Norman Borlaug) “Why is anyone fighting food advance? A very small percentage of the world’s population is fortunate enough to have the luxury of turning down food.” (Penn Jillette) “We have arranged a society based on science and technology in which nobody understands anything about science and technology.” (Carl Sagan) The
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The follies of fear-based marketing

The fallout from Chipotle’s announcement that they’ve eliminated GMOs from their menu certainly created a buzz – but not the kind of buzz that Chipotle hoped for! There’s been so much backlash against Chipotle for engaging in fear-based marketing it’s hard to keep track of all the outlets and individuals decrying their stance. Many compilation articles have sprung up, like this particularly good one from a young farmer who shared summaries and links to ~20 notable articles. The list includes all manner of media outlets, such as science (Gizmodo, Live Science), health (Bloomberg Health), and mainstream (WSJ, NY Times, Washington
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Being innovation-friendly: The risks of risk aversion

Retail Leader published an article earlier this year titled, “Is Your Organization Innovation-Friendly?”, raising a point well worth exploring: while most business leaders claim that innovation is a key part of their strategy, far too few actually practice what they preach. Just about everyone loves the idea of innovation and staying ahead of the curve, but the problem with innovative ideas is that sometimes they fail, and most people are risk-averse by nature. Many prefer to play it safe rather than taking risks on new products or strategies. And, many companies and individuals later rue that mindset. When it comes
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Snapping the habit of snap judgments

The first quarter or 2015 may have just ended, but it’s one that won’t soon be forgotten by OSF. In the wake of the USDA’s approval of Arctic® apples and our company’s acquisition by Intrexon in February, the milestones kept coming with Canadian and FDA approval on March 20. For a small team like ours, getting so much attention – including from major media outlets like WSJ, NY Times & Globe and Mail – was nothing short of overwhelming. It’s truly been an amazing couple of months, and you wouldn’t believe the number of growers who want to plant, retailers
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OSF founders finalists for BIO Hero Contest!

OSF Founders Neal and Louisa Carter have been named finalists for an “Everyday Superheroes of Biotech” contest, and you can vote to support them now! Earlier this month, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) chose Neal and Louisa as one of five finalists from a group of nominees representing the industry’s best and brightest “who are striving to heal, fuel, and feed the world through groundbreaking innovation.” We hope you’ll agree that Neal and Louisa’s commitment to developing value-added foods that benefit the whole supply chain, starting with nonbrowning Arctic® apples, makes them worthy of your vote in the Pharma/Biotech category!
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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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The failures of anti-GMO bullying

Not many people like to think of themselves as bullies, but when groups of individuals gang together to hurl insults and try to force their own demands on others, it’s an apt description. This behavior is made even easier by social media; and just because the target is a company, not one specific person, doesn’t mean it’s not bullying. A few weeks ago, a coordinated attack from Green America, Organic Consumers Association, Friends of the Earth, Food Democracy Now and other anti-GMO groups swarmed social media demanding that Starbucks switch to organic milk. As outlined in the Delta Farm Press,
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