around 40 percent of apples are wasted because of superficial bruising and browning and created its apples to help keep the popular fruit from being prematurely thrown in the trash while
to keep its original texture and flavor. In order to prevent apples from browning, the company said it has
the enzyme called polyphenol oxidase (PPO) that drives oxidation in apples.
Michael Firko, deputy administrator for the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service,
the new status for the Arctic Fuji is the “most scientifically sound and appropriate regulatory decision.”
Neal Carter, Okanagan Specialty Fruits’ founder and president, said the
they have gotten from consumers has been very positive. “The response to Arctic Fuji apples and our overall platform to deliver direct benefits to consumers has been encouraging,” Carter said. “We are confident the positive feedback we have received will translate to the marketplace.”
However, not everyone agrees.
“Many big apple buyers don’t want this. Consumers don’t want this. It’s not only an unnecessary product, but the risks have not been fully examined,”
, executive director of
Food & Water Watch
“Regulators have glossed over the possible unintentional effects of this technology, including the potential economic impacts on farmers, the potential of contamination for non-GMO and organic apple crops and the potential impact of the non-browning gene silencing, which could also weaken plant defenses and plant health.”
The USDA appeared to have made the decision in favor of the company despite feedback they received during a 30-day public comment and review on the government’s
website. Many of the more than
said they were opposed not only to the variety, but to all GMO food. Others
that they were concerned that the GMO apple would deceive consumers and asked for it to be labeled as such.
Capital Press the company’s Arctic Golden variety will be available for test marketing in stores in the western U.S. in the fall and will be labeled as GMO in the nutritional information area of packaging when regulations require it. He also said the company will seek USDA approval for its Arctic Gala next year, hoping for approval in 2017 or 2018.
“Food companies and restaurants, apple growers and growers associations, and consumers don’t want GMO apples. Yet this company is introducing them,”
, publisher of
The Organic & Non-GMO Report
“And of course they won’t be labeled as GMO in the U.S. for at least two years with the weak GMO labeling bill that was recently passed, and even then they may just have a QR code. There are already non-GMO, non-browning apples available, including the
verified Opal apple and ones developed at Washington State University, but the media ignores those options in favor of so-called ‘high tech’ GMO apples.”