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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GMO Communication (Part 2): A ripe educational opportunity

Last week I shared some of the personal experiences that have shaped my understanding of GMO perceptions. This week, I will be talking about the importance of biotech champions, and some of the most important lessons we’ve learned for effectively sharing information on GMOs in a way that resonates with a wide, diverse audience. Bridging the communications gap In January 2015 Pew Research found that 88% of scientists from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) say GE foods are generally safe, but 57% of U.S. adults aren’t so sure. Months earlier, the International Food Information Council (IFIC)
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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
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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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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
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Ag-biotech infographics: Education through visualization

Consumer interest in biotech foods has grown rapidly over the past few years, yet interest in the fastest adopted crop technology in history has been accompanied by a spike in misinformation. As a result, it is difficult for consumers to obtain an accurate understanding of this complex subject. For some biotech opponents, the complexities are of little concern, as long as the goal of boosting fear of biotechnology is accomplished. The more inflammatory and shocking a claim, the quicker it spreads. Basing these claims on facts is not a prerequisite, though including a horrifying (and nearly always completely misleading or
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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! 
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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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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
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Ag-West Bio Company Profile: Okanagan Specialty Fruits

Because our company’s main lab is located in Saskatchewan, we are very fortunate to be members of Ag-West Bio, an organization that specializes in developing the life sciences industry in the province. Ag-West Bio is a not-for-profit, member-based organization that helps foster connections and education, especially through events like Canada’s National Biotechnology Week, which successfully concluded last month. Ag-West Bio recently released their Annual Report, which is publicly available right here, and they featured Okanagan Specialty Fruits in one of two company profiles (pages 14 & 15). The profile, titled “Science interacts with social media”, explores the science behind our
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