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
Apples & PearsApple Scab Alert
May 18, 2015
Kari Peter of Penn State University Extension warned growers of possible apple scab and fire blight infections following the rainy Read More
Apples & PearsMichigan State University To Host Field Day At Clarksville Research Center
May 15, 2015
Michigan State University (MSU) will hold a field day on June 23 at Clarksville Research Center, 9302 Portland Road Clarksville, Read More
Apples & PearsTips For Apogee Applications
May 13, 2015
Michigan State University Extension educators say applications at king bloom petal fall help suppress fire blight. Read More
Apples & PearsRegistration Open For U.S. Apple Association’s Apple Crop Outlook & Marketing Conference
May 12, 2015
Industry leaders from around the country will convene in Chicago, IL, for U.S. Apple Association’s Apple Crop Outlook & Marketing Read More
Apples & PearsConditions Present For High Fire Blight Risk In East
May 5, 2015
“Folks, it’s shaping up to be another doozy of a spring for fire blight and you must heed the warning. Read More
Apples & PearsUSDA Approves Record-Breaking Purchase of Of Apples
April 29, 2015
The huge buy is welcome news as a monster crop is expected, especially in Washington. Read More
Apples & PearsWhy Arctic Apples Were Approved By USDA
April 29, 2015
In what has become a heated debate, let’s discuss the science behind GMO apples. Read More
The Latest
Apples & PearsSolve Your Labor Problems From Within
May 26, 2015
Summer is here, which means harvest season is just around the corner. Hopefully you’ll have the crews you need this Read More
Apples & PearsSounding Off On Record Purchase Of Apples
May 26, 2015
Recently USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service announced the purchase of 34.9 million pounds of fresh apples and 16.1 million pounds of Read More
Apples & PearsGrants Available For Farmworker Education
May 19, 2015
Grants are available for farmworkers and their families interested in attending adult educational programs through the Washington Apple Educational Foundation Read More
Apples & PearsApple Scab Alert
May 18, 2015
Kari Peter of Penn State University Extension warned growers of possible apple scab and fire blight infections following the rainy Read More
Apples & PearsMichigan State University To Host Field Day At Clarksvi…
May 15, 2015
Michigan State University (MSU) will hold a field day on June 23 at Clarksville Research Center, 9302 Portland Road Clarksville, Read More
Apples & PearsTips For Apogee Applications
May 13, 2015
Michigan State University Extension educators say applications at king bloom petal fall help suppress fire blight. Read More
Apples & PearsRegistration Open For U.S. Apple Association’s Apple Cr…
May 12, 2015
Industry leaders from around the country will convene in Chicago, IL, for U.S. Apple Association’s Apple Crop Outlook & Marketing Read More
Apples & PearsConditions Present For High Fire Blight Risk In East
May 5, 2015
“Folks, it’s shaping up to be another doozy of a spring for fire blight and you must heed the warning. Read More
Apples & PearsUSDA Approves Record-Breaking Purchase of Of Apples
April 29, 2015
The huge buy is welcome news as a monster crop is expected, especially in Washington. Read More
Apples & PearsWhy Arctic Apples Were Approved By USDA
April 29, 2015
In what has become a heated debate, let’s discuss the science behind GMO apples. Read More
Apples & PearsHow To Prevent Fire Blight
April 28, 2015
With a 90% infection rate, researchers discuss steps you can take to prevent a fire blight epidemic like Nova Scotia experienced in 2014 from happening to you. Read More
drought sign water crisis
Apples & PearsDiversification: A Response To Drought [Opinion]
April 27, 2015
With Governor Jerry Brown’s announcement of mandatory use reductions, the general public in California is getting a wake-up call on Read More
Apples & PearsAPHIS Proposal To Allow Apples From China Becomes Rule
April 23, 2015
Growers in China expected to follow set standards of production to prevent possible importing of new pests. Read More
Apples & PearsFruit Processor To Expand Operations In Virginia
April 22, 2015
Andros Foods North America to invest $73 million in area and hiring 160. Read More
Gala green tip apple bloom
Apples & PearsApple Scab Spores Begin To Emerge In Pennsylvania
April 14, 2015
Now is a good time to apply copper sprays to protect trees. Read More
Apples & PearsWashington Apple Detective Finds ‘Lost’ Varieties
April 9, 2015
Works with university researchers to resurrect apples of the Palouse region. Read More
Bartlett Pears
Apples & PearsPears Examined For Probiotic Benefits
April 8, 2015
Study published in Food Research International highlights the nutritional benefits of a diet rich in pears. Read More
sweet cherry bloom
Apples & PearsCold Spell Hits Mid-Columbia Region
April 3, 2015
Cherry and grape growers use wind machines, irrigation to protect early blooms and buds from freezing temperatures. Read More