USDA seeks comment on non-browning GM apple - The Packer

USDA seeks comment on non-browning GM apple

07/12/2012 03:36:00 PM
Tom Karst

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking comments on a non-browning biotech apple.

Through mid-September, the USDA will accept comments on the Arctic apple. Summerland, British Columbia-based Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. asked the USDA to give the apple nonregulated status. The petition is available on the USDA website.

“We are interested in receiving comments regarding potential environmental and interrelated economic issues and impacts that (USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service) may determine should be considered in our evaluation of the petition,” according to the notice. APHIS is interested in comments — and scientific research/studies — regarding biological, cultural and ecological issues, according to the notice in the Federal Register.

Nancy Foster, president of the Vienna, Va.-based U.S. Apple Association, said the USDA will review comments and decide next steps at that point.

The U.S. Apple Association and the Yakima, Wash.-based Northwest Horticultural Council in early 2011 urged the USDA to keep the genetically modified variety out of the U.S. because of concerns for potential marketing harm to the conventional and organic apple industry.

“Our industry took a position in opposition to this particular apple being approved for commercial use,” Chris Schlect, president of the horticultural council, said July 12.

Schlect said the biotech apple poses marketing and export issues for both conventional and organic grower-shippers that outweigh any advantages from the non-browning apples.

Neal Carter, president of Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., said in May the apple is designed for fresh-cut products, and foodservice operators have also expressed interest.

Comments (5) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Dawna Burnett    
Iowa  |  July, 14, 2012 at 02:55 PM

Having an apple which does not “brown” is not critical to the growth of our food system or economy. The opposite is true. Too much has been allowed the right to poison our food system with only year’s later people realizing or understanding the implications. Washing a cut apple in NATURLE lemon juice will prevent the apple from browning. This cost is MINIMULE with no long lasting studies needed.

Netherlands  |  July, 16, 2012 at 09:27 AM

There is a non-browning variety without biotech. It's name is Greenstar. It is bred by Better3Fruit in Belgium.

Arkansas  |  July, 19, 2012 at 11:11 AM

When attending a conference, reception, or any other function where refreshments are offered, I want and expect to eat food. I reject genetic engineering of food and am happy to have my apples brown or brushed with lemon. Why would I like or want to eat non-foods without character? Who needs more bright red hard round balls called tomatoes? Give us produce and please don't permit anything else, not only for unknown or unwanted environmental, nutritional, or health consequences but also for quality of life reasons. We like nature.

kim hunter    
Vancouver Canada  |  December, 09, 2012 at 12:38 PM

GMO makes me very sick. Removing GMO from my diet restored our health. BC fruit farmers are fighting to protect their world renowned reputation from GMO apples. One GMO orchard could contaminate and destroy the industries international reputation. On the heels of the latest and first long-term GMO study on rats, France, Russia, Peru and Kenya banned GMO. 11 BC communities have also banned GMO. See "GMO ALERT" for the stud and results. Stay Healthy!

elena tamas    
vista, CA  |  July, 19, 2014 at 03:04 PM

Stop allowing GMO's to contaminate our planet and our food system. Enough is enough! When did you guys forget that you work for the American people. Stop poisoning your own people.

Feedback Form
Leads to Insight