Neal Carter: Perception of biotech foods boosted by consumer benefits

There’s no question that farmers are well aware of the benefits biotech crops can offer, as ag-biotech is the fastest adopted crop technology in history with 18 million farmers currently growing biotech crops worldwide. Consumers, on the other hand, have not yet seen many direct benefits for themselves, nor have they been the focus of educational efforts until recently. OSF president Neal Carter explains, in an opinion piece published by Fresh Fruit Portal, that the rise of educational efforts, and the “next wave” of biotech crops with direct benefits for consumers will help foster a positive shift in consumer perceptions
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Arctic® Apples: Good for the Grower

One question we at Okanagan Specialty Fruits are frequently asked is why we chose to develop a nonbrowning apple rather than an apple with an agronomic benefit? There are many pests that growers would love to combat with biotechnology, such as fire blight and apple scab. As a grower-led company, we certainly sympathize with these challenges and it is important to us to provide value to our fellow growers, as well as to consumers. Though our core intent with the nonbrowning trait was to spur consumption by making apples more convenient for consumers, we knew they would also benefit the
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Arctic® Apples: more apples for consumers, less for the garbage

Consumers prefer a “perfect apple” to a damaged one, and the apple industry is well aware of this. Even superficially bruised fruit is rarely bought, so much of the annually produced 200 million bushels of U.S. apples end up going to waste instead of being consumed. Superficial bruising is something that does not show on Arctic® Apples. This fruit truly has nothing wrong with it, other than visual appeal. Today, apples with even minor superficial bruising usually don’t make it through the supply chain. It’s been reported that “even under the best conditions, 10 percent or more of the crop
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Economic, environmental benefits of crop biotechnology are clear

According to a comprehensive new study, global farm income gains from crop biotechnology increased $78.4 billion from 1996-2010, and this trend will continue. Sounds pretty nice, but who is really benefitting? Well, this study demonstrates that the majority of 2010 farm income gains went to farmers in developing countries, 90% of which are small, resource poor farms. The benefits don’t stop at increasing profits for hardworking, low-income farmers, though. Other findings of the study show that over the fifteen years studied, crop biotechnology reduced pesticide usage by 438 million kilograms. In 2010 alone, biotech crops were responsible for greenhouse gas
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