Company Responsible For First GMO Apples Is Sold

Company Responsible For First GMO Apples Is Sold

Arctic applesJust one week after its first genetically modified apples got the green light from the USDA, Okanagan Specialty Fruits has been acquired by a company specializing in synthetic biology.


Intrexon Corporation today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Okanagan Specialty Fruits, the company behind the Arctic Granny and the Arctic Golden, the world’s first non-browning apples.

Pursuant to the definitive agreement, Okanagan’s stockholders will receive $31 million in Intrexon common stock and $10 million in upfront cash.  Consummation of the transaction, anticipated in the first half of 2015, is subject to customary closing conditions.

Intrexon Corporation is focused on collaborating with companies in food, health, energy, and the environment sectors to create biologically-based products. It provides its partners with industrial-scale design and development of complex biological systems. They call our synthetic biology approach “Better DNA.”

Through the acquisition, Intrexon expands its food programs to include trees yielding fruit that is more appetizing and convenient for consumers while providing economic benefit throughout the tree fruit supply chain.

“We are committed to bringing better versions of consumers’ favorite fruits to their grocery stores and kitchens, while addressing additional novel traits in tree fruits that reduce waste and address supply chain challenges,” said Neal Carter, the founder of Okanagan Specialty Fruits, who will remain with the company.  “Joining forces with Intrexon and applying our combined technical know-how is an important step to introducing beneficial products for consumers and growers.”

One of the fastest-growing categories of the fruit and vegetable industry is the fresh-cut segment, bolstered by the convenience factor and upward trend in consumption of healthier foods.

Intrexon believes that marrying the art of fruit breeding with cutting-edge science will result in new products that can benefit consumers and producers alike. For example, the Arctic apple provides consumers with an answer to a pesky but common food issue without any flavor-altering, anti-browning additives.

Utilizing genetically modified organisms (GMOs)  is an alternative to current approaches to browning control, which are more costly and require the application of chemical solutions or antioxidants. Additionally, apples will be increasingly accessible to food service outlets, where consumers spend roughly 50% of their food dollars, because Arctic apples solve both cost per serving and quality concerns associated with pre-cut apples.

“Okanagan is a world leader in the development of fruit-bearing plants to express enhanced, advantageous traits with tremendous potential to revolutionize the tree fruit industry,” said Thomas R. Kasser, senior vice president and head of Intrexon’s food sector.  “Through this acquisition, we can deliver more accessible and affordable choices of high-quality foods for an ever-growing population.  We are extremely pleased that Neal Carter will remain with the company providing both the creative spirit and deep understanding of the tree fruit business that will assure continued future success in this expanding business opportunity.”

Source: Intrexon Corporation

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Mark Donner says:

GMO is a dangerous poison. Eating genetically modified corn (GM corn) and consuming trace levels of Monsanto’s Roundup chemical fertilizer caused rats to develop horrifying tumors, widespread organ damage, and premature death. rats exposed to even the smallest amounts, “developed mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage as early as four months in males, and seven months for females.” The animals on the GM diet suffered mammary tumors, as well as severe liver and kidney damage. Everywhere GMO is being grown, food allergies, disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others have been skyrocketing in the human populations.

There has been a drastic decline of crop-pollinating insects all over the world, and what this means for the future of the world’s food supply. Wild pollinators like bumblebees, butterflies, and beetles are basically disappearing. GMO industrial agricultural practices are causing this insect genocide. Pollinating insects in general, which include a wide range of insects and other animals, are simply vanishing from their normal habitats and foraging areas. That lower diversity and lower abundance of wild insects means less fruits and destruction of the diversity of plants and their fruits worldwide.

GMOs cross pollinate and their seeds can travel. It is impossible to fully clean up our contaminated gene pool. Self-propagating GMO pollution will outlast the effects of global warming and nuclear waste. The potential impact is huge, threatening the health of future generations. GMO contamination has also caused economic losses for organic and non-GMO farmers who often struggle to keep their crops pure.

GMOs increase herbicide use. Most GM crops are engineered to be “herbicide tolerant”―surviving deadly weed killers. Monsanto, for example, sells Roundup Ready crops, designed to survive applications of their Roundup herbicide. Between 1996 and 2008, US farmers sprayed an extra 383 million pounds of herbicide on GMOs. Overuse of Roundup results in “superweeds,” resistant to the herbicide. This is causing farmers to use even more toxic herbicides every year. Not only does this create environmental harm, GM foods contain higher residues of toxic herbicides. Roundup, for example, is linked with sterility, hormone disruption, birth defects, and cancer.

GM crops and their associated herbicides can harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms. They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources, and are unsustainable. For example, GM crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down 50% in the US. Roundup herbicide has been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths and endocrine disruptions, and organ damage in animals even at very low doses. GM canola has been found growing wild in North Dakota and California, threatening to pass on its herbicide tolerant genes on to weeds.

By mixing genes from totally unrelated species, genetic engineering unleashes a host of unpredictable side effects. Moreover, irrespective of the type of genes that are inserted, the very process of creating a GM plant can result in massive collateral damage that produces new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and nutritional deficiencies.

GMOs do not increase yields, and work against feeding a hungry world.

Whereas sustainable non-GMO agricultural methods used in developing countries have conclusively resulted in yield increases of 79% and higher, GMOs do not, on average, increase yields at all. This was evident in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ 2009 report Failure to Yield―the definitive study to date on GM crops and yield.

The toxins associated with GMO should never be tolerated. NEONICOTINOID PESTICIDE neurotoxins are absolutely the main factor causing the collapse of bee and pollinator populations along with other lethal chemicals, Agent Orange herbicides, glysophate, etc. When these poisons are banned as they were in Europe the bee populations start to recover. GMO neonicotinoids, roundup etc. MUST BE BANNED OUTRIGHT and all the farmers along with USDA, Biotech and chemical companies told to cease and desist from what they are doing.

An even scarier prospect: the “BT” version of GMO soybeans and corn, (basically pesticides engineered directly into the plant )

The “BT toxin” gene is put into the DNA of the corn in order for it to manufacture its own toxins that kill pests. The BT gene originated from a soil bacteria that also infiltrates the microflora (friendly digestive bacteria) in your gut. The Bt gene converts the microflora in your intestine into toxin-manufacturing machines.

So, to be clear, eating GMO corn products can cause your gut (which is primarily responsible for keeping you healthy) to turn into a breeding ground for tiny little pesticide factories inside your body, actively creating toxins which are designed to kill living things. These toxins are found in the blood and are readily transferred across the placenta to developing babies in the womb.

Jeff says:

Mark Donner – Congratulations, you officially have won the award for the most ignorant post of the year. The only true thing you said was “Monsanto sells Roundup Ready crops, designed to survive applications of their Roundup herbicide.” It ended there.

jody says:

Mark Donner
I dont give a shit what these others are saying. I know and understand what your stating. Im right there with you.. POWER TO THE PEOPLE…

Matt says:

“flavor-altering, anti-browning additives.”

I guess they are anti-vitamin C (fruit fresh). Ascorbic Acid neither alters the taste or texture of fruit and is a necessary human nutrient that many people do not get enough through their diet.

This acquisition so soon after the USDA approval means that this was one of the conditions of sale of the company. This whole deal sounds bad to me. There is nothing that benefits consumers in this new “Apple”.

a20havoc says:

Despite the anti-transgenic stormtroopers’ efforts to stop it, the free market rolls on. But, what would a news item about Arctic apples be without the usual anti-transgenics’ tiresome, unsubstantiated rants?

Eric Wilson says:

You don’t need to look far to see Mark Donner’s trail. Just Google his intro “GMO is a dangerous poison.”. The entirely unfounded message has been posted as a comment on countless agricultural news releases for years, verbatim. This means, of course, that he hasn’t bothered to learn anything or consider individual articals as such. Given that he has a copy and paste approach to rhetoric, it isn’t surprising that his claims are never substantiated with so much as a source of reference.

Alan says:

Thank you, Mark Donner, for this important insight into the dangers of GMOs. You left out, however, that GMO produceis also officially endorsed by ISIS/ISIL, Boko Haram, and the Taliban as well.

Patricia Kachold says:

I will certainly do all in my power to research your product so that I don’t mistakenly purchase it. I will also tell everyone I know to do the same. We do NOT want GMO’s in our food and will not buy anything that has been GMO treated or grown by seed that has be engineered . Shame on you for thinking the people eating your product don’t matter. Feed all your engineered fruit to your own family unless maybe you think they don’t deserve the best product on the market, and that would not by yours.