Second Comment Period Open For Ag-Biotech Apples

Arctic Apple logoThe USDA has opened a second comment period on Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny apples, two nonbrowning varieties produced through biotechnology by Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. (OSF). The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking public comments on their Environmental Assessment (EA) and Plant Pest Risk Assessment (PPRA).

The comments will be accepted through Dec. 9 on the USDA APHIS’s regulatory assessment of the two varieties. This is the second of two U.S. comment periods on these nonbrowning apples, the first of which was 60 days in length. OSF’s Arctic apples are among the first ag-biotech products to undergo this recently enhanced regulatory process, which did not previously include a second opportunity to comment.

The first comment period began when APHIS made OSF’s Petition for Determination of Nonregulated Status available July 13, 2012 in the Federal Register, and successfully concluded Sept. 11, 2012. According to a news release on Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.’s website, USDA deregulation is expected in early 2014.

“We’re now closer than ever to bringing consumers and producers safe, value-added Arctic apples, providing greater convenience and reducing food waste,” said OSF president and founder Neal Carter, an orchardist in British Columbia’s Okagan Valley. “This is especially rewarding for our small company because of the long, challenging road toward deregulation. We have had Arctic apples planted in field trials for over a decade now,” explains Carter. “The regulatory process is extremely rigorous so consumers can feel secure knowing that Arctic apples are among the most tested fruits in existence.”

OSF is currently seeking U.S. partners to collaborate on the commercial development of Arctic apples.

Arctic Apples use gene silencing to suppress the apple’s expression of polyphenol oxidase (PPO), the enzyme involved in browning when the fruit is bruised, bitten, or cut. This virtually eliminates PPO production, so in turn the fruit doesn’t brown. Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny are just the first nonbrowning varieties; any apple variety can be transformed this way. Test orchards were planted in 2003 and 2005 in Washington state and New York state, two of the chief apple growing areas in the U.S.

Source: Okagan Specialty Fruits Inc. news release; USDA

Topics: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Apples & Pears Stories
full-size-waef-winner-estebangaribay-grannysmith
Apples & Pears
September 9, 2016
Year Of The Apple Art Contest Winner Features ‘Granny Smith’
The Washington Apple Education Foundation (WAEF) contest, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, was won by 2016 Sunnyside High School graduate Esteban Garibay. Read More
apples4ed
Apples & Pears
September 5, 2016
USApple Seeks Nominations For “Apples For Education” Program
Program seeks school programs to fund through donations made during campaign, boost apple consumption. Read More
EverCrisp apples
Apples & Pears
September 4, 2016
Eco Apple Program Sees Boost In Acres
A network of farmers focused on finding the most ecological way to grow fruit in the Northeast have increased by Read More
gmo apple
Apples & Pears
August 29, 2016
Public Comments Now Accepted For ‘Arctic Fuji’ Apple
APHIS releases determination to extend deregulation to third release from Okanagan Specialty Fruits. Read More
gmo apple
Apples & Pears
August 11, 2016
GMO Nonbrowning Fuji Apple One Step Closer To Approval
USDA moves Okanagan Specialty Fruits' variety to nonregulated status; public comment period is forthcoming. Read More
Walden Hollow Angry Orchard hard cider
Apples & Pears
August 8, 2016
Angry Orchard Debuts Cider Made From New York Apples
Walden Hollow is named after cider house’s town and is all about fruit from the Empire State. Read More
Photo credit: International Fruit Tree Association
Apples & Pears
August 5, 2016
Washington Apple Crop Huge, But Not A Record
The 2016 Washington apple harvest is predicted to be about 133 million boxes. Read More
The Latest
Apples & Pears
September 26, 2016
New Apple Variety Is One Stemilt Hopes C…
University of Minnesota apple variety will be grown and packed exclusively by Stemilt. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 23, 2016
USDA Approves Nonregulated Status For ‘A…
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announces deregulation of third non-browning apple released from Canadian company. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 23, 2016
Growers Encouraged To Monitor Fruit Temp…
With early harvests, Randy Beaudry of Michigan State University says temperature monitoring is a must. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 9, 2016
Year Of The Apple Art Contest Winner Fea…
The Washington Apple Education Foundation (WAEF) contest, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, was won by 2016 Sunnyside High School graduate Esteban Garibay. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 5, 2016
USApple Seeks Nominations For “Apples Fo…
Program seeks school programs to fund through donations made during campaign, boost apple consumption. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 4, 2016
Eco Apple Program Sees Boost In Acres
A network of farmers focused on finding the most ecological way to grow fruit in the Northeast have increased by Read More
Apples & Pears
August 29, 2016
Public Comments Now Accepted For ‘Arctic…
APHIS releases determination to extend deregulation to third release from Okanagan Specialty Fruits. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 11, 2016
GMO Nonbrowning Fuji Apple One Step Clos…
USDA moves Okanagan Specialty Fruits' variety to nonregulated status; public comment period is forthcoming. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 8, 2016
Angry Orchard Debuts Cider Made From New…
Walden Hollow is named after cider house’s town and is all about fruit from the Empire State. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 5, 2016
Washington Apple Crop Huge, But Not A Re…
The 2016 Washington apple harvest is predicted to be about 133 million boxes. Read More
Apples & Pears
July 28, 2016
Seeing The Real Big Apple In New York On…
Hot temperatures, lack of precipitation, mechanization, and high density production systems were among the highlights of the International Fruit Tree Association’s annual study tour. Read More
Apples & Pears
July 26, 2016
Walmart Begins Selling So-Called ‘…
Cosmetically challenged apples are the company’s first foray into a global movement to cut food waste. Read More
Apples & Pears
July 8, 2016
Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Expands In…
More townships added as small populations of the pest are found in municipalities adjacent to previously quarantined areas. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 30, 2016
Pairing PGRs In Pears Helps Control Vigo…
When it comes to a hearty variety like ‘Anjou,’ researchers see potential in using a one-two punch of PGRs to help control growth and ensure return bloom. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 21, 2016
New York Beverage Credits To Include Win…
Credit allows wineries and cideries to reinvest savings in business. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 21, 2016
Allen To Retire From New York Apple Asso…
Industry supporter to leave in January after 20 years with association. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 8, 2016
Pacific Northwest Pear Crop Expected To …
Tiny increase expected from Washington and Oregon over 2015, but crop will be lower than most recent years. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 8, 2016
Mexico Will Not Add Duties To Washington…
Country determines imports from the U.S. did not hurt the domestic industry. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]