The Lowdown on Biotech Crops

It’s always great to see individuals take it upon themselves to develop well-rounded opinions of agricultural biotechnology. Former biotech opponent Fourat Janabi (@fouratj) has done just that by not only reaching out to scientists like Kevin Folta (@kevinfolta) in a Q&A we shared last month, but also by interviewing family farmer Brian Scott (@thefarmerslife). His third and final Q&A on the subject is with our own President, Neal Carter! The Q&As are useful sources of information because they complement each other well. They each provide a different perspective on ag-biotech. “The Lowdown on GMOs with a Scientist” covers misinformation about biotechnology, how non-scientists can differentiate
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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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USDA comment period on Arctic® apples comes to a close

Arctic® Grannies and Arctic® Goldens are both one step closer to market with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) concluding their 60-day comment period yesterday (September 11, 2012). Okanagan Specialty Fruit’s petition applying for the deregulation of our nonbrowning apples was released for public review and input on July 13 and the past two months have been a very exciting time for our small company! There has been a tremendous amount of attention from the media and even more from consumers, who submitted around three times the number of comments on the Arctic® apple petition as the nine other biotech crops undergoing
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You can help! U.S. government now seeking public input on Arctic® apples

Good news! We are happy to announce that the U.S. government has opened their review of our nonbrowning Arctic® apples for public input. You can read our official press release announcing the news here. (We’ve previously blogged about the process to approve biotechnology foods in the United States here and updated here.) We are very pleased to be able to finally share with you the extensive science-based information that we were required to collect by this federal agency. This day has been 15 years in the making for our little company! And we are honored to be one of the
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U.S. regulator seeks comments on biotechnology-produced nonbrowning Arctic® apple

Summerland, B.C., Canada – The U.S. government is now seeking the public’s input on Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny apples, two nonbrowning varieties that have been produced through biotechnology by Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. (OSF). The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) has opened its review for U.S. public comment, which allows U.S. citizens to submit their input on Arctic® apples for APHIS’ review. OSF’s Arctic® apples are among the first biotechnology plants/plant foods to undergo a recently-enhanced U.S. agency review process that now includes two opportunities for public input (summarized here). APHIS announced opening of
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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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Ag-West Bio: Arctic® apples reduce food waste, offer market options

We are very pleased to share a recent article by the President & CEO of Ag-West Bio, Dr. Wilf Keller, titled “Okanagan Specialty Fruits technology reduces food waste, offers market options”. Ag-West Bio is a not-for-profit, member-based organization that aims to act as a catalyst for Saskatchewan’s bioeconomy and grow the province’s life science sector. Their President, Dr Wilf Keller, has a doctoral degree with specialization in Crop Science and is a well-regarded expert in the field of biotechnology.   We encourage you to click here to view this article in full on Ag-West Bio’s official website, and hope you
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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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Arctic Apples to participate in updated USDA biotechnology review process that adds public comment opportunities

The U.S. public now has more opportunities to get involved in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) review of organisms produced through biotechnology, as reported in the Federal Register on March 6. OSF’s Arctic® apples will participate in this expanded process when the public comment process regarding our nonbrowning apples begins later this year. (This new process updates the process we described in this previous blog post.) Under this updated process, the public will now have two opportunities to provide input to APHIS, as its staff considers requests to deregulate organisms produced through biotechnology.
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