Let’s talk rootstock: How apple varieties stay true

When it comes to apple orchards, many consumers have a picture in their heads of Johnny Appleseed planting apple seeds all over the place. We should be very glad that’s not the case in reality, though, as aside from the nostalgic imagery, the way orchards are actually propagated is vastly superior. And the “root” of modern apple production is, well, rootstock! To understand why rootstocks are so important to apple production, it helps to first understand how apples are pollinated, and luckily, we just posted a brand new infographic on that very topic. For a typical apple blossom to grow
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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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Dr. Savage: Arctic® apples pose no cross contamination risk

Dr. Steve Savage knows a thing or two about plant technology. He obtained his B.S. in Biology from Stanford University and his PhD in Plant Pathology from UC Davis and in the 35 years since, has been deeply involved in agriculture with an emphasis on crop innovation. Dr. Savage is also a skilled communicator, with an active Twitter account (@grapedoc), over 250 blog posts since 2009 and a new website, www.drstevesavage.com, devoted to communicating about agriculture. So, there are few individuals more appropriate to tackle one of the most common myths we hear: that Arctic® apples will “contaminate” organic apple
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OSF responds to question on “GMO Answers”

We’re big fans of GMOAnswers.com, a website that solicits expert responses to consumers’ ag-biotech questions and provides consumer-friendly educational materials! The GMO Answers initiative illustrates that the ag-biotech industry recognizes open communication between consumers and reputable sources is important, and is especially valuable when scientists and farmers are involved (who knows more about the science and benefits of ag-biotech than them?). Recently, GMO Answers received a question about the likelihood of Arctic® apples to cross-pollinate with neighboring apple orchards, and we were pleased to have the opportunity to contribute our response. OSF president Neal Carter provided a detailed explanation of
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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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Top five Arctic® apple myths

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about Arctic® apples, but as you probably already know, they’re actually just the same as their conventional counterparts until you bite, slice or bruise the fruit. Still, we want to ensure anyone wanting to know why they’re just as safe and healthful can readily find out. So, we’ve compiled the five most common myths about Arctic® apples, and why they don’t stand up to scrutiny: 1) Arctic® apples present a cross-pollination risk: We’re growers ourselves and have no intention of harming our neighbors. That’s why we’ve collected a massive amount of data proving cross-pollination
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BC Fruit Grower Perspective: Arctic® apples and cross-pollination

We are very pleased to have esteemed agricultural scientist and orchardist Dr. David Lane share his thoughts on Arctic® apples as a guest blogger for www.arcticapples.com. You may recall that we also shared Dr. Lane’s letter to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in early July and we hope to have him share his expertise on a variety of topics relating to Arctic apples again soon. For this entry, Dr. Lane provides his opinion on cross-pollination concerns: As was outlined in my submission to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Arctic® apples are a tremendously valuable and innovative solution to a
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Addressing common misconceptions of Arctic® orchards and fruit

During the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) public comment period on Arctic® Granny and Arctic® Golden apples, a number of re-occurring misconceptions arose which are addressed in this blog. Agricultural biotechnology, which consumers are self-admittedly uniformed about, is a complicated subject. When there’s a new product that utilizes this technology, myths and incorrect information commonly follow. Biotechnology is a polarizing topic for many and unfortunately, this has led to a vocal minority propagating erroneous statements that mislead the general public.  Perhaps the most widely spread myth is that Arctic® apple orchards will cross-pollinate with organic orchards, causing them to
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Arctic®, conventional and organic apple trees can coexist (part 2)

Following up on our January blog, we would like to further address why Arctic®, conventional and organic trees can successfully coexist. As previously explained (see blog and FAQ), apple trees are propogated by grafting, not seed, are pollinated by bees, not wind, and don’t escape and grow in the wild. The risk of cross-pollination is minimal, and we further mitigate that risk with our strict stewardship standards (e.g., requirements for hive placement, buffer rows). And, in the unlikely event cross-pollination did occur, only traces of Arctic material would be present in some of the seeds. Consider the statement by Robert
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