Next Genetically Engineered Apple OK’d in Canada
Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.’s (OSF) third non-browning 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 the growing commercial orchards of ‘Arctic Golden’ and ‘Arctic Granny’ apples in spring 2018.
“There was very strong interest from retailers as we launched our first product – fresh, preservative-free ‘Arctic Golden’ slices — and we look forward to introducing additional Arctic non-browning varieties into Canada and U.S. markets soon,” Neal Carter, President of OSF, says.
Arctic apples have a unique trait that prevents enzymatic browning even when apples are bitten, sliced, or bruised. Through biotechnology, the enzyme in apples responsible for browning has been turned off. The resulting non-browning advantage benefits every sector of the supply chain, reducing food waste and boosting product appeal.
“For a very long time, apple lovers have been looking forward to enjoying non-browning Arctic apples as a convenient and healthy snack option. With this past fall’s U.S. launch. we were finally able to deliver just that,” Carter says. “This latest announcement allows us to continue looking ahead toward providing new non-browning varieties and additional value-added fruits and vegetables.”
The announcement follows approval by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the ‘Arctic Fuji’ variety, granted Sept. 23, 2016. Arctic apples will be available commercially in select U.S. cities this fall and in additional areas of North America over the coming years as fruit availability increases.