Arctic® Fuji Apple Receives Canadian Approval

Summerland, B.C., Canada – Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.’s (OSF) third nonbrowning Arctic® apple variety, Arctic® Fuji, has been approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada (HC). The CFIA and HC announced today that the Arctic® Fuji variety “did not pose a greater risk to human health than apples currently available on the Canadian market. In addition, Health Canada also concluded that the Arctic® Fuji apple would have no impact on allergies, and that there are no differences in the nutritional value of the Arctic® Fuji apple compared to other traditional apple varieties available for consumption”. Arctic® Fuji trees will join
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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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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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With final comment period over, what's next?

The eagerly-awaited conclusion to the USDA’s final comment period on Arctic® apples came last month, so what’s next? In a word, deregulation! Before we get ahead of ourselves, though, it will still take the USDA at least a couple months to finalize their EA (Environmental Assessment) and prepare a FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact) for Arctic apples.  As the USDA prepares their final paper work, they will be reviewing around 5,000 submissions received between Nov. 8th and Jan. 30th regarding their EA and PPRA (Plant Pest Risk Assessment) of Arctic apples. Though predictable, many submitted remarks fell under a
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Positive response to Arctic® apples’ big news!

As our readers know, last Friday marked a major milestone when the second U.S. comment period on Arctic® apples began. This means a final decision on deregulation is expected in just a few months! There was plenty of industry press, and today we want to also highlight a few blog posts and comments from our fans that can’t wait to get their hands on their favorite nonbrowning varieties! Writer Richard Lobb, who boasts a wealth of experience covering agricultural issues, tweeted his excitement that Arctic® apples are a step closer to market, and discussed the news in his blog. Mr.
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USDA APHIS open 2nd comment period for Arctic® apples

The U.S. government has opened the second, and final, comment period on nonbrowning Arctic® apples, meaning we’re closer than ever to achieving commercialization! The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Services (USDA APHIS) has posted their Environmental Assessment (EA) and Plant Pest Risk Assessment (PPRA) for our Arctic® Granny and Arctic® Golden varieties, and are requesting public input. This is the second U.S. comment period and comments will be accepted for 30 days, until December 9, 2013. The first comment period opened July 13, 2012 when APHIS posted for public review our 163 page petition requesting deregulation. We
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Podcast: Discussing Arctic® apples with Neal Carter

This past July, Okanagan Specialty Fruits’ president, Neal Carter participated in a podcast series from the Ayn Rand Center’s “Voices for Reason” blog. We’re pleased to share the news that the full audio recording is now freely available! Neal is interviewed by Dr. Amanda Maxham, and he explains the science behind our nonbrowning Arctic® apples, highlighting how and why they were developed. Many other tough topics are also tackled, including the challenges a small, 7-employee company like ours confronts with an extremely rigorous regulatory system and a proliferation of misinformation on agricultural biotechnology. We think you’ll agree that Neal does not
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When will Arctic® apples be in stores?

As we harvest this year’s crop of Arctic® apples from trees planted in Washington and New York State over a decade ago, we’ve had lots of eager consumers ask “When the heck are we actually going to be able to buy them?!?” Well believe us; we’re as anxious as you are! When it comes to the rigorous deregulation process, it’s tough to provide exact dates, though we’ve been given every indication that Arctic apples will be officially approved for deregulation in both Canada and the U.S. within the next 6 months (likely sooner!).  While we wish that meant we’d be
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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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Arctic® apples approach 2nd U.S. comment period

Arctic® apples are continuing their steady progress towards deregulation and commercialization, with the second U.S. public comment period expected to open this spring. This past year, we saw public comment periods in both Canada (May-July) and the U.S. (July-Sept.) successfully conclude, receiving over 5,000 comments in total. It was certainly an eventful 2012, but we expect 2013 to be even more “fruitful”, and here’s why: While the first 60-day U.S. public comment shared our 163 page petition requesting deregulation, two new documents will be made publically available for the second comment period. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a branch of the
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