Arctic® Fuji Gains USDA Approval

  Okanagan Specialty Fruits’ (OSF) third nonbrowning Arctic® apple variety, the Arctic® Fuji, has been granted deregulated status by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS).  Arctic® Fuji apples have been found to be as safe and nutritious as conventional apples, joining OSF’s Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny varieties. “The response to Arctic® Fuji apples and our overall platform to deliver direct benefits to consumers has been encouraging,” said Neal Carter, Okanagan Specialty Fruits’ founder and president.  “We are confident the positive feedback we have received will translate to the marketplace.” The approval follows
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Arctic® Fuji – another step closer

Arctic® Fuji apples are now one step closer to U.S. deregulation! Following the submission of our initial application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Service (APHIS) requesting nonregulated status (commercial approval), we are excited to announce that OSF’s Arctic® Fuji petition  is now available to the public. This application contains data on the introduction and testing of the nonbrowning trait in Fuji variety apples which uses the same safe, beneficial technology as the Arctic® Granny and Arctic® Golden. This APHIS petition differs from the petition submitted for our initial varieties because it is considered an
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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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Seeking an end to a negative consumption trend

“Apple consumption needs a boost” read a headline in “Good Fruit Grower” magazine earlier this month, and we couldn’t agree more! According to respected agricultural economist Dr. Desmond O’Rourke, per-capita consumption of apples has been declining fairly steadily for 20 years, partially due to increased competition from other fruits and snacks. And, while the article focuses primarily on the marketing of Washington apples specifically, we believe Dr. O’Rourke’s comment that “there’s nobody really trying to expand the market for apples in general” is cause for concern if we’re expecting apple consumption to really take off! In the apple industry, there’s
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World Apple Report: GMOs and Real Risk

The World Apple Report, a highly respected monthly publication, offered a very insightful article on the “real risk” of biotech foods in their July 2013 issue. “GMOs and Real Risk” examines the overreaction to perceived safety concerns about biotech foods and urges a return to common sense. It includes a comparison of biotech crops to other perceived risks and quantifies the likelihood of exposure to safety concerns and potential severity. It clearly demonstrates that, when it comes to biotech foods, the perceived risks are largely imaginary and are certainly overstated. We invite you to view the full article below by
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Getting social about ag-biotech

Like learning about medical concerns, it’s difficult to obtain accurate, easy-to-understand information about ag-biotech. The science is complex, and even more challenging, much of the information available is either polarized or just plain wrong. So how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? Biotech supporters often point to the hundreds of peer-reviewed studies, which can be overly complicated, while opponents tend to over-simplify by claiming biotech crops “aren’t natural” (a flawed argument) and use scary, fabricated imagery of syringes and animal-plant hybrids rather than by providing evidence. One solution is to simply trust the independent experts, such as the
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OSF: Growers helping growers

As regular readers will know, my husband Neal and I are, above all else apple growers to the core. We spend way more time in our orchard than behind our desks, and truly embrace the orchardist lifestyle. When we founded OSF back in 1996, it certainly wasn’t to make a quick buck – 17 years later and we still have a couple years to wait before the Arctic® apple, our first product, is available in stores! Our motivation is to help our fellow growers and apple industry members produce more high-quality fruit and help address the flat-to-declining apple consumption across
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Britain banging on biotech’s door

Last year marked an unprecedented 100-fold increase in acreage of biotech crops planted since 1996 (420 million acres in 28 countries – 20 of them in the developing world). And yet, despite all the evidence over this time demonstrating the massive benefits and conclusive safety of these crops, many countries are still woefully resistant. However, the dam now appears ready to break in trend setting UK. Britain has long been opposed to growing biotech crops, yet Prime Minister David Cameron recently talked about the positive shift in the UK’s attitude towards the technology. He emphasized the importance of fostering a
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The importance of a “fresh” approach

When consumers are asked what’s most important to them when shopping for produce, one of the most frequent responses you’ll hear is freshness. Our own consumer research showed this, as we asked 1,000 self-identified apple eaters for the most important traits they look for when shopping for apples. Neck-and-neck for the lead was freshness and overall look (which is also a sign of freshness). Not only is freshness quite possibly the most important motivator for consumers when it comes to selecting produce, but the demand for fresher fruits and veggies continues to climb even higher. A great example of retailers
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