GMO communication (Part 1): The juice is worth the squeeze

Over fifteen years before the first nonbrowning Arctic® apple variety was even approved in the U.S. and Canada, my family and I received a rude awakening regarding how big a challenge we had gotten ourselves into. Activists angry about the development of GMO apples had hacked over 650 of our young apple trees down. These particular trees weren’t even genetically engineered, but the activists either didn’t realize or simply didn’t care! Being involved in agriculture for over three decades, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected from the weather, pests and even people. And, while I’m happy to say the attack
Read More

Arctic® Fuji – another step closer

Arctic® Fuji apples are now one step closer to U.S. deregulation! Following the submission of our initial application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Service (APHIS) requesting nonregulated status (commercial approval), we are excited to announce that OSF’s Arctic® Fuji petition  is now available to the public. This application contains data on the introduction and testing of the nonbrowning trait in Fuji variety apples which uses the same safe, beneficial technology as the Arctic® Granny and Arctic® Golden. This APHIS petition differs from the petition submitted for our initial varieties because it is considered an
Read More

Joanna Sax: GMOs – Science battles with the public again

Joanna Sax, PhD, JD, is the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and a Professor of Law at the California Western School of Law in San Diego, and we are very pleased to share a guest post of hers on the disconnect between public opinion and the scientific community when it comes to GMOs: GMO foods are fighting a hard battle with the public. Some concerns by the public may be warranted, other concerns have no factual basis.  We have a problem with our food supply. Children are dying of starvation.  Not only do we need more food, but
Read More

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
Read More

Highlighting Dr. Ania Wieczorek’s “Biotech in Focus” series

Earlier this year, a fantastic new series of bulletins covering a wide range of biotechnology-related topics was launched – “Biotech in Focus”. Spearheaded by Dr. Ania Wieczorek, each bi-weekly newsletter focuses on a single key topic, and manages to pull relevant examples, images and information into a concise, two-page PDF. The content, as well as the format, make each bulletin a valuable educational resource. Dr. Wieczorek, who counts teaching science to children in her community among her duties, is Director of the Biotechnology Outreach Program at the University of Hawaii. And, while she has recognized the ability for biotechnology to
Read More

Canadian Food Insights highlights OSF’s transparency, innovation

As nonbrowning Arctic® apples approach deregulation, both the food and biotech industries are closely watching with interest. The potential of Arctic® apples to boost apple consumption has received wide notice, and so has Okanagan Specialty Fruits’ commitment to open communication and transparency. Both of these topics are heavily featured in a comprehensive Arctic apple article, written by Lindsay Grummett, in Canadian Food Insights Magazine’s recent spring issue. And, don’t miss our advertorial in this edition! 
Read More

Q&A Series: Agvocate Dr. Cami Ryan (Part 1)

Many readers of this blog are likely familiar with Dr. Cami Ryan, an outspoken advocate for farmers and agricultural innovation, especially biotechnology. For those who don’t know her, be sure to check out her blog and @DocCamiRyan on Twitter – her experience in agriculture and expert communications skills make her well worth following! Dr. Ryan grew up surrounded by agriculture in the Canadian prairies and earned her Ph.D. & Bachelor in Commerce at the University of Saskatchewan. She passionately writes about agriculture, exploring the relationship between consumers and the food they eat, and thus, is the perfect person to help
Read More

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
Read More

Arctic polarization: saving the elusive middle ground

Agricultural biotechnology is one of the most polarizing topics in the news today, and both supporters and opponents often dig in their heels as much as they do over political and religious affiliations. One of the big differences is that, while political and religious ideology is subjective, biotech foods can be tested and evidence can be quantified. That’s not to say the results and meaning behind them shouldn’t be debated, but there should be much more room in the middle ground with ag-biotech because there is a great deal of hard evidence (nearly 2,000 peer-reviewed studies, many independently funded, over
Read More

“The Lowdown on GMOs: According to Science”

This month, a long-awaited compilation on biotech foods has been published – “The Lowdown on GMOs: According to Science”! If the name sounds familiar to you, it’s with good reason as this e-book was compiled by former biotech-opponent Fourat Janabi, now author/photographer/blogger, who interviewed OSF president Neal Carter earlier this year about OSF and Arctic® apples. This Q&A was part of a series which included a scientist (Dr. Kevin Folta), family farmer (Brian Scott), and ag-biotech company (us!); all of which we shared in our blog back in April. The Q&A series is included in the full publication, but it’s
Read More