Arctic® apples approved in Canada!

It is with great excitement that Okanagan Specialty Fruits announces that Arctic® apples are officially approved in Canada! This follows U.S. approval of our first two nonbrowning varieties, Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny, earlier this year on Feb. 13th by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. So, nearly two decades after we founded OSF, Arctic® apples can now be grown throughout both Canada and the U.S.! Arctic® apples’ approval was made official earlier today when the two bodies reviewing our apples, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada notified OSF that their reviews are complete (read more about the
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Press Release: Arctic® Apples Receive Canadian Approval

Summerland, B.C., Canada – Nonbrowning Arctic® apples have been approved for commercial sale in Canada, as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada (HC) have concluded their respective reviews. In a letter sent to OSF by the CFIA, the Agency concludes that Arctic® apples “are as safe and nutritious as traditional apple varieties…” and states that their official decision document will become publicly available on their website at a later date. In a publicly available statement, HC states that their assessment has led them to conclude that an Arctic® apple “is safe for consumption, still has all its nutritional value
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Navigating the rigorous regulatory system

In both the U.S. and Canada, the regulatory process required to bring a biotech crop to market is extremely rigorous and challenging. As industry members involved in the process for the past several years, we’re amazed at how opponents to ag-biotech claim biotech enhanced crops aren’t thoroughly evaluated. Nothing could be further from the truth! Our timeline below demonstrates how long it’s taken just to get to the point where we could even apply for deregulation (never mind gain approval!): Assuming Arctic® apples complete both the U.S. and Canadian regulatory processes by early 2014; this means it will have taken 18
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Looking back – an eventful 2012 for OSF

As a result of a busy 2012, Okanagan Specialty Fruits has never been closer to bringing nonbrowning Arctic® apples to market! The regulatory processes for biotech foods in both the United States and Canada are extremely rigorous and it typically takes several years (at least!) to gain approvals. This past year OSF hit major milestones in the deregulation process in both countries. 2012 was especially rewarding after all the hard work our team has delivered since the company’s founding in 1996. In Canada, things really started to kick off on May 2nd when the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) posted
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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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Canada seeks public input on Arctic® Apples

CFIA seeks public comment on Arctic® apples OSF’s nonbrowning Arctic® apples are taking another important step toward getting more people eating more apples. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has posted our submission for unconfined environmental release of nonbrowning Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny apples for public comment. More than 15 years in the making, this is a major milestones for Okanagan Specialty Fruits, for apple consumers and for the apple industry. So what’s next? To learn more about the Canadian process for evaluating plants and plant foods developed through biotechnology, we have generally described that process here. Decide for yourself.
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How does a genetically engineered food get to the Canadian market?

In December 2011, OSF began the government review process that is required to take a new food product, like Arctic® Apples, to market in Canada. In Canada, two agencies share responsibility for regulating plants and plant foods created through biotechnology: Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada. CFIA ensures the safety of “plants with novel traits” for the environment and use as animal feed. Health Canada ensures that “novel foods” are safe for human consumption. Both agencies require substantial data to prove the similarity and safety of a genetically modified plant/plant food to its conventional counterpart. Previous reviews of
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