Arctic apple comment period extended - The Packer

Arctic apple comment period extended

12/05/2013 09:43:00 AM
Tom Karst

The public comment period on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposal the genetically modified Arctic apple has been extended.

Originally set to expire Dec. 9, the USDA extended the comment period to Dec. 16.

“Technical issues” caused the extension, according to a USDA release. The Federal Register website may have not allowed comment posting, according to a USDA release. Also, links in Federal Register notices were incorrect and may have caused confusion.

Comments can be submitted online. The website has logged more than 2,200 comments.

An overwhelming majority of the public comments were running against non regulated status for the biotech, non-browning apple.

One apple industry marketer is wary of consumer perceptions of the entire category because of the Arctic apple.

“My overall sense is that we need to send very clear messages to the buying public,” said Keith Mathews, chief executive officer of FirstFruits Marketing of Washington LLC, Yakima, Wash.

Mathews said he was on the sales staff of an apple shipper in 1989, selling to Safeway, when the CBS “60 Minutes” news program highlighted the use of Alar on apples. During that time, even retailers who displayed signs that apples were not treated with Alar paid a big price in lost sales. In fact, those apples that had signs declaring no Alar was applied struggled more than the same apples with no sign.

“The consumer base doesn’t clearly understand these issues and when it gets to technical science of GMO or not GMO and how apples and other products are brought to market, they will not have clarity,” he said. “The Washington industry has zero interest in delivering to the public anything that is deemed genetically modified.”

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Steve Savage    
Encinitas, CA  |  December, 06, 2013 at 12:53 AM

The purpose of the USDA comment period is to get feedback on the specific issues which the USDA regulates which have to do with plant pest issues. The agency will be making a science-based judgement, so they will be looking at the comments for that sort of information. This isn't some sort of public poll or a forum for the discussion of apple marketing.

James Ellis    
North Bend  |  December, 06, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Tell us. are you the moderator of this comment page? When someone asks for comments then that is what they get. Your opinion of what this is sounds great to you.. not so much for others with their own opinions. Stick to your opinion and that works great for all!..

Lindy Combs    
Coupeville, WA Whidbey Island  |  December, 06, 2013 at 11:59 AM

It is a total alteration from real food...and it means we eat pesticides when we consume it! NO ARCTIC APPLES!

CA  |  December, 06, 2013 at 12:51 PM

We need our food labeled, period!! I would rather GMO be banned but for now... just label it. We have a right to know what we are eating and what we are purchasing!!! How could the United States allow this??? Several countries have banned GMO. Freedom of choice!! People before profits!

Carl David    
Philadelphia  |  December, 06, 2013 at 01:14 PM

This poisonous fruit needs to be kept off the market permanently. GMO foods are causing rampant disease and sickness because of the extraordinary amounts of toxic pesticides applied to them. The cellular alteration allows for them to laced with much higher quantities of dangerous persistent pesticides, thereby in theory producing a greater crop yield. The truth is that those deadly poisons sprayed on the plants are ingested by both animals and livestock (as feed) and by us as humans as well, either through ingestion of meats, chickens, etc. Example, if cattle are not grass fed, as they were intended (hence the term grazing) then they eat wheat or corn, which if Genetically Modified, is passed through to us. Scientific facts have proven the dramatic increase in diseases like cancer are directly linked to the GM foods and pesticides. Breast cancer is a perfect example but there are countless others. The studies have shown as well that it does not take a very long time or serious amount of quantity to see the devastating health issues from intake of GM foods. If GMOs are allowed to continue to infiltrate our food supply, there will be a world wide food supply crisis. GM crops, if spread and or mixed with non GM crops, will create a food disaster of epidemic proportion. There will be no way to reverse it. They must be outlawed in the United States. China, Russia and many other European countries have banned our wheat and corn crops because they are GMO. It is time to end this insanity before it too late.

December, 06, 2013 at 01:35 PM

Stop poisoning us with these GMOs we want no part of any of it!

Florida  |  December, 06, 2013 at 02:07 PM

I will NEVER eat a genetically modified food product, ever. We need to end Monsanto and hang every corrupt politician and FDA management personnel taking bribes, and make harsh examples of them. Times wasting... I have rope.

ny  |  December, 06, 2013 at 02:26 PM

I know how to keep an apple from turning brown... put slices in water with a little milk. No need for GMO with who knows what other poison in it? Like who cares if it turns brown anyway?

Laura H    
Michigan  |  December, 06, 2013 at 03:36 PM

Enough is enough!! Use of unregulated and/or incorrectly studied GE foods is wrong. I'm not a science project and neither is my family. Agency workers that have any past or present ties to corporations developing or owning GE foods should immediately recuse themselves from any involvement in these decisions.

Right to KNOW    
Everett WA  |  December, 06, 2013 at 03:59 PM

We have a RIGHT TO KNOW what is in our foods. Labeling gives us a choice. The questions to ask are why have so many other Countries banned GMO's? If we are not ready to ban GMO's then PLEASE label foods that contain them! IT is our RIGHT to KNOW period. The Government Agencies are suppose to be here to protect and serve the public. How is allowing GMO's doing that? More and more scientific reports are coming out on how GMO's harm the body.

Marcel Godwin    
hi  |  December, 06, 2013 at 04:14 PM

GMO is not a 'science issue', it is an Ethics issue. Science is a tool, what we do with it is our responsibility. Altering the relationships in an infinitely complex, interdependent system that took millions of years to develop in the course of one human lifetime is foolish. Stupid. Egocentric. A bio-sphere will evolve, but it is not likely that humans will adapt quickly enough to survive. There is a system in place. A new one is not necessary. Modified genetics is hubris. The question is one of ethics, and what we are willing to be responsible for.

December, 06, 2013 at 06:34 PM

Unless you live in a vacume, I'd think you've consumed GMOs, since there are NO regulations regarding sales or labeling!

Kimberly C. Rife    
Ohio  |  December, 06, 2013 at 07:10 PM

It is a total deviation from actual means we eat pesticides when we consume it, I don't know about YOU, but to me this sounds not only incredibly dense but quite dangerous as well! People should not be consuming pesticides. Not only are 'products' like these linked to disease, but they do not increase yields, they do REDUCE the nutrition in them, and cost farmers more, both in health and expense to produce STOP the insanity NOW!

December, 06, 2013 at 07:50 PM

Awesome!!!!! Somebody FINALLY can explain thishorti le tho g that is happening. Wish I could copy and paste this because its exactly how I feel !! Ty

Montana  |  December, 06, 2013 at 08:30 PM

As with other GMO crops there have not been independent studies to assure safety. There however have been many studies by the corporations that promote these GMO foods that have assured us that they are perfectly safe. That is simply not true and the studies are rigged. I therefore say NO GMO Arctic APPLES! I will not support that industry at all in any way.

Carol Lani Johnson    
Hendersonville, NC  |  December, 06, 2013 at 09:48 PM

We would never buy a GMO apple. Lemon juice keeps it from turning brown. Join the rest of the world in listening to/protecting citizens. GMOs are completely unacceptable and unconscionable.

Cheryl Liniman    
Ohio  |  December, 06, 2013 at 10:44 PM

We need to BAN ALL GMO FOODS, not just one. Other countries have enough good sense to do so, INCLUDING China. They are NOT proven safe, and in fact, there are reports that they are harmful. Start working FOR the people instead of corporations. What good is it to protect plants from bugs when your product is KILLING PEOPLE or causing disease??

Indiana  |  December, 06, 2013 at 11:53 PM

I will NEVER eat a genetically modified food product, ever. We need to end Monsanto and fire every corrupt politician and FDA management personnel taking bribes. NO ARCTIC APPLES!

Diane Fink    
Spokane, WA 99025  |  December, 07, 2013 at 12:40 AM

I am opposed to GMO apples and would not buy them. I am opposed to all GMO foods and refuse to eat them. I would be very sorry not to eat the wonderful, amazing Washington apples but I would have no choice. GMO's have made me sick and I only got well by eating Organic Vegan Whole Foods!

Diane Fink    
Spokane, WA 99025  |  December, 07, 2013 at 12:42 AM

Bravo Carl! Very well said!

British Columbia  |  December, 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM

NO to GMO apples. NO GMO food of any kind.

Rhode Island  |  December, 07, 2013 at 01:27 AM

I agree with everything you just said ..............thank you!

Rhode Island  |  December, 07, 2013 at 01:31 AM

BTW I was agreeing with Carl David. Since the reply under his post doesn't show, I figured I'd share.....

Jeanne Fecht-Roberts    
Florida  |  December, 07, 2013 at 02:08 AM

GE & GMO "food" has not been tested sufficiently to be safe for humans; yet we are the test subjects without having signed up for it and without our permission. While it seems like a good way to solve some growing problems it actually appears to be causing health problems, like pesticides have been proven to. I don't understand why we are led to believe they are safe. Many food substitutes have later been found harmful. When damage has already been done we try to fix it. USDA & FDA are suppose to be protecting us. Do your job. I have stopped knowingly eating GMO & GE "food". Apples are next... do we really need this?

Jeanne Fecht-Roberts    
Florida  |  December, 07, 2013 at 02:12 AM

Well said and thank you.

Jeanne Fecht-Roberts    
Florida  |  December, 07, 2013 at 02:13 AM

Well said Marcel, and thank you

Jeanne Fecht-Roberts    
Florida  |  December, 07, 2013 at 02:15 AM

Thank you Carl, very well said

Jeanne Fecht-Roberts    
Florida  |  December, 07, 2013 at 02:55 AM

There is a link in the beginning of this article that takes you to the actual comment page for the USDA. There are only 2000 or so comments there. We need to post there in order to make a difference.

Long Island  |  December, 07, 2013 at 07:19 AM

If GMOs are so great, then why is so much money being spent to fight labeling? Label the product and let the consumer decide if that is what they want to eat!

Virginia Fischer    
Indiana  |  December, 07, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Very well stated - thank you!

Montague, NJ  |  December, 07, 2013 at 02:28 PM

Keep your eff-ing Frakenapples. I won't buy or eat them!

Joanna Ward    
Macon, GA  |  December, 10, 2013 at 04:01 AM

****REPOST**** (FOR THOSE THAT DIDN'T SEE IT) Jeanne Fecht-Roberts Florida | December, 07, 2013 at 02:55 AM There is a link in the beginning of this article that takes you to the actual comment page for the USDA. There are only 2000 or so comments there. We need to post there in order to make a difference.

December, 10, 2013 at 08:28 AM

will never eat one of those apples

NC  |  December, 10, 2013 at 08:43 AM

No support here for GMO anything. I know how to keep an apple from turning brown - eat it! You can give the GMO food to the Monsanto supporters....I'm sure they stock their larders with it......Make sure they have plenty.

Stephanie Riley    
Florida  |  December, 10, 2013 at 09:05 AM

I'd stop eating apples before I would eat one of these frankenapples.

concerned for my health    
North Carolina  |  December, 10, 2013 at 09:45 AM

Are food was put here by god so how can u make it better??? leave our food alone and let it be natural

Los Angeles  |  December, 10, 2013 at 09:59 AM

Our ancestors got along fine with the food they grew and ate. We do not need science to genetically modify our foods. If everyone would rise up and demand Non GMO labeling and refuse to buy GMO products, we might make them think. Buy local, buy organic and stay away from faux foods not intended by nature.

Florida  |  December, 10, 2013 at 10:07 AM

I am against GMOs. I want my food labeled so I can choose. I would not buy GMO apples.

Nebraska  |  December, 10, 2013 at 10:22 AM

People are waking up! If you aren't going to eat it and it isn't being served at the table in the WhiteHouse or politicians home than how dare you want me to serve it in my home!

Ramona Moritz    
San Diego, CA  |  December, 10, 2013 at 10:24 AM

First label GMO 2. Ban GMO.

Glendale, CA  |  December, 10, 2013 at 11:59 AM

My family will not eat GMO food. If the apples raise a question in our minds about the possibility that the apple is genetically modified, we will not buy apples. The message: do not genetically alter our foods! It's bad enough our kids are playing on GMO grass that contains its own built in herbicide. ! Guess it will take a couple of decades to see the dangers via increased childhood tumors and cancers. I can't believe that Monsanto spends so much money trying to sway us that these products are safe. They could actually feed all the poor for more than a year with the money they've spent. If you believe these products are safe for human play and human consumption, I have a bridge for sale!

Glendale, CA  |  December, 10, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Monsanto has done everything to keep the truth (the scientific facts) from getting out. They've even created their own truths via advertising that cost billions of dollars so Californian's wouldn't vote yes to label genetically modified foods (GMOs). They convinced many that GMO labels would raise the cost of our food. However, companies constantly change the labels on their packaging. I shop at Trader Joes because they assure me that they will not purposely buy GMO foods. Part of the problem of GMOs - that scientists know and any logical person can figure out is that GMOs will spread seed via weather events and wind and contaminate other fields. Just look at the lawsuits that have taken place in this country (Monsanto as plaintiff) suing because their seed had germinated (farmers must buy new seed every year because Monsanto owns the patent). There is also an interesting lawsuit that took place in Canada - one of the few that Monsanto did not win. A farmer sued because the seed spread to his land. Now he considers his land contaminated. And I agree!

Gail Anderson    
Washington State  |  December, 10, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Why does anyone think we can improve on nature? Man made sea water looks like the real thing but will not sustain any fish! The same goes for GMO foods. Our bodies do not recognize it! The bees are already showing the signs! We should all take heed!

December, 10, 2013 at 01:07 PM

I will not eat this crap.

Oregon  |  December, 10, 2013 at 01:11 PM

Leave the apples alone. Scientists cannot improve Gods design. If anything these crops GMO can destroy what mother nature in her infinite wisdom so perfectly designed. Get out of our food!!!

TN  |  December, 10, 2013 at 01:48 PM

I will not knowingly buy or eat GMO food. I want all GMOs banned, but until that day comes, JUST LABEL IT !

Tustin, CA  |  December, 10, 2013 at 03:54 PM

GMOs that are already on the market must be labeled now. Anything new, including the arctic apple, needs to undergo major INDEPENDENT study to verify side effects of the human consumption of the pesticides within it.

Crystal King    
Arlington  |  December, 10, 2013 at 04:04 PM

NO GMO anything.

Mendocino County, California  |  December, 10, 2013 at 06:22 PM

This is so ridiculous, it is difficult to believe that anyone would even think of this abomination. Leave our food alone! We want apples; good, plain apples. They are the best for us. We don't want dangerous foods that no one has any idea what the ill effects might be from them. It is our health and the health of our children we are concerned about protecting. Quit messing with a perfect food. Leave them alone. You have no idea what you are doing. I will not eat them and I will not buy them. But, am very concerned about those who might eat them and not have any idea what they are consuming.

Neva Wise    
Marietta, GA  |  December, 10, 2013 at 07:31 PM

I do not want to see genetically modified foods period, much less without long-term testing and labeling. LABEL ALL GMO'S, then let the public decide. Any who are in favor of this: YOU BE THE GUINEA PIGS. YOU EAT IT AND FEED IT TO YOUR FAMILIES FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS. AFTER THAT PERIOD OF TIME, IF YOU AND YOURS ARE OK, THEN AND ONLY THEN TRY TO SELL IT TO ME AS FOOD.

December, 10, 2013 at 07:42 PM

Agree, its poison.

Chicago  |  December, 10, 2013 at 08:17 PM

Amazing that anyone who looks over the research and actual facts would think genetically altering what has been on this earth for 1000's of years is a good thing. Just looking at our pollinators (bees and butterflies) dying off and their population decreasing greatly since the onslaught of GMO's is enough. The enormous increase of stomach problems alone has skyrocketed since GMO corn has hit (accidentally......starlink if I recall) our tables. So NO to more foods with altered DNA

Patricia Hamilton    
Olympia, Washington  |  December, 10, 2013 at 10:13 PM

We sell our fruit to 47 countries that do not accept GMOs We eat only pesticide free, organic at our home and all our trees are certified organic in our orchard. We do not want this chemical added to our apples or to our food supply. Look how farmed fish are damaging out Salmon. NO NO NO to this GMO

Roger Richardson    
Osoyoos B.C.  |  December, 11, 2013 at 01:03 AM

An apple a day with dsRNA.

gail weissman    
December, 11, 2013 at 09:50 AM

I suggest eating the crap till its gone to avoid famine and ban it from the earth NOW!A great idea with unparralled consequences. Honor them their research but they are wrong or trying to reduce the species.......its inhumane and we know it.......I feel the effect instantly my bowls cramp and my nutrition absorption is in peril. Anyone pregnant should not eat gmo anything

Chris Koger    
Lenexa, Kan.  |  December, 11, 2013 at 04:00 PM

Gail, What GMO product were you eating when this happened, and what did your doctor say about your condition? The apple isn't on the market. Also, what symptoms are exhibited when "nutrition absorption is in peril?" Chris Koger News Editor The Packer

1more human against tyranny    
Boston, MA birth place of freedom  |  December, 11, 2013 at 07:03 PM

Why has the USDA become the United States Death Agency?

December, 11, 2013 at 07:04 PM

or you grow your own from heirloom seeds.

James Beard    
NH USA  |  December, 11, 2013 at 10:48 PM

There is no logical reason to genetically modify any apple.Pests can be lured with other plants instead of putting poison on the apples which people eat.There is no good reason for that.Apples grew in abundance long before pesticides ans gmo's.I would rather hire people to walk around the orchards and remove the pests individually.It would be just as cost effective I bet.And people need jobs.

Dan B.    
Traverse City, Michigan  |  January, 08, 2014 at 11:32 AM

I'd like to report abuse on nearly every one of the comments here, as they contain falsehoods such as "no independent testing." I see comments suggesting man can't improve on nature as we find it (absurd and Luddite-like. Maybe we should all become christian scientists and refuse modern medicine). If the anti-gmo movement is to be successful it will need to cease spreading obvious lies, but then again without those it will be unable to convince but a few.

John R. French    
Marietta, Georgia  |  January, 16, 2014 at 09:42 PM

Our family would be absolutely thrilled to be some of the first customers & consumers of the Arctic apple. We understand the science of gene transfer, as it has been going on ever since life began; hence we are not at all opposed to the biotechnical transformations that have contributed to the non-browning trait that Arctic contains. Frankly we find it plausible that it could be less hazardous than other apples that do turn brown more readily because it limits phenolic oxidation process. Others who allege that it contains pesticides, or that GMOs have not been adequately tested, are incorrect.

February, 09, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Well not really. An Arctic Apple is as real as a regular apple - it just doesn't brown. They will be grown the same as regular apples, so if the grower uses pesticides (or not) again they'll be treated the same. This technology has nothing to do with pesticides.

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