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The Food Institute Blog

USDA Approves GMO Apples
Posted on February 20, 2015 by James Hickey

While new GMO apples were recently approved by the USDA, they will not be hitting grocery stores anytime soon. Developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. (OSF), the USDA approved on Feb. 14 two apple varieties that have been genetically engineered to resist browning. These varieties will be marketed as Arctic Granny and Arctic Golden by OSF. According to the USDA's announcement, reviews on the two apples found that Arctic apples "are unlikely to pose a plant pest risk" and deregulation "is not likely to have a significant impact on the human environment."

But consumers will have to wait a little longer to purchase the apples  since apple trees take several years to produce significant quantities of fruit. “Our focus is working with growers to get trees in the ground. As more trees are planted and they come into commercial production, there will be a slow, but steady market introduction,” said Neal Carter, president and founder of OSF explains in a press release.

Carter estimates that Arctic apples will first be available in late 2016 in small, test-market quantities while and wide distribution to slowly following, possible years for the nonbrowning Arctic fruit. 

 

About the Author

James Hickey
Business Writer
The Food Institute

James covers markets for the Food Institute, including the canned vegetable, frozen vegetable, tomato products, processed fish, dried fruit, nuts and juice and concentrate sectors. A reporter and editor for 21 years, James has worked as a writer and editor for North Jersey Media Group, an associate editor at Rodman Publishing and a production editor for the Daily Racing Form. James can be reached by email at james.hickey@foodinstitute.com or by phone at 201.791.5570 ext. 227.

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