USDA APHIS open 2nd comment period for Arctic® apples

The U.S. government has opened the second, and final, comment period on nonbrowning Arctic® apples, meaning we’re closer than ever to achieving commercialization!

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Services (USDA APHIS) has posted their Environmental Assessment (EA) and Plant Pest Risk Assessment (PPRA) for our Arctic® Granny and Arctic® Golden varieties, and are requesting public input.Arctic Apple Trees

This is the second U.S. comment period and comments will be accepted for 30 days, until December 9, 2013. The first comment period opened July 13, 2012 when APHIS posted for public review our 163 page petition requesting deregulation.

We previously explained the significance of the newly posted documents, which demonstrate that Arctic® apples pose no environmental or plant pest risks. This is no surprise as Arctic® apples have been examined in field trials for over a decade now (in Washington and New York states) and are among the most tested fruits in existence. Furthermore, Arctic® apple science is straightforward in that apple genes were simply silenced and no new proteins are expressed.

It has never been more apparent that Arctic® apples are as safe and healthful as their conventional counterparts, with the only difference being that Arctic® apples will not brown when you bite, bruise or cut the fruit. The nonbrowning trait truly can be a game-changer, providing tremendous benefits to growers, packers, freshcut and traditional processors, foodservice, retailers, and most of all, consumers.

Please show your support for Arctic® apples and the benefits biotechnology can offer the fruit industry by submitting your comments using the button below, or by following these instructions. Please contact us directly with any questions or to share a comment you’ve submitted to APHIS as we’d love to read it ourselves!

Submit a Comment Now!

Thank you for your continuing support of Arctic® apples, biotechnology, the apple industry and our goal of helping people to eat more apples!

About Neal

You may know Neal as President and Founder of Okanagan Specialty Fruits, but he is also a bioresource engineer with over thirty years of experience working around the world. It was through this firsthand experience that Neal was convinced that biotechnology can help farmers meet ever-expanding global food demand.

Comments

  1. First Officer

    Keep up the good work against food waste ! Don’t let the Fiends if the Earth (Did i mispell that?, My bad!) get you down.

    • Joel

      Thanks First Officer! Nothing we aren’t used to by now – we’ll just keep focusing on transparency and education as we’ve always done 🙂

  2. Catherine Lindseth

    I believe that these apples are the coming thing.  I am anxious to be able to experience them as a matter of fact I would like to purchase one of each variety to plant on my lot.  Presently. I have a macintosh and another earlier unknown variety producing.  I have room for two more trees and would certainly appreciate to get some of these. Thank -you,   Sincerely,  Catherine Lindseth

    • Joel

      Thanks for your kind words Catherine! It will still be at least a few years before Arctic Granny or Arctic Golden trees will be available outside of commercial orchards but we hope we’ll have fruit available for you in stores soon!

  3. Georgi Velev

    I support biotechnology and I think Arctic Apple is a great product. It should be on the market but by right, not merely by permission.

  4. Anonymous

    Where are the papers on nutrition content so that I can read them? I support it, but I won’t eat anything without seeing the data and I don’t believe anyone should have to.

    • Joel

      Hi, thanks for your question!

      Please see our publicly available petition for deregulation, which includes 10 pages of nutrition and compositional analysis in Section 6.4 (pgs. 81-90): http://www.aphis.usda.gov/brs/aphisdocs/10_16101p.pdf

      The key quote is the concluding statement on page 90, which states, “Evidence provided here is consistent with the concept that Arctic Apple cultivars GD743 and GS784 [Arctic Goldens & Arctic Grannies] are nutritionally equivalent with their parent cultivars, prior to slicing. While after slicing, GD743 and GS784 retain their original phenolic content, whereas GD and GS [conventional Golden Delicious & Granny Smith] suffer the loss of phenolic compounds, and possibly vitamin C, through the action of PPO.”

  5. Anonymous

    Is this enzyme still in the apple or is that the gene that has been turned off?  If this enzyme is turned off, what impact does this enzyme have on my nutrition?  I do not support Arctic Apples nor do I support eating anything that acts like an inorganic object.

    • Joel

      Thanks for your question! The enzyme that drives enzymatic browning, polyphenol oxidase, is still present in Arctic apples – just at lower levels than are needed to initiate the browning process. The nutrition of a whole Arctic apple will have the same nutrition as its conventional counterpart, but the browning reaction in a conventional apple “burns up” some of the nutrients like antioxidants and vitamin C, so Arctic apples better retain their nutrition!

      While we’re disappointed to hear you aren’t interested in Arctic apples, as they really are just another apple other than their nonbrowning benefit, but we completely support your right as a consumer to choose whatever product you most prefer. We only ask that those who are interested in our nonbrowning apples be given that choice as well.

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