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58695696_1927295547375926_843906153917186048_o.jpg Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.

FDA approves genetically modified Fuji apple

Arctic Fuji is third variety Okanagan Specialty Fruits has been approved to grow.

Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.’s (OSF) newest non-browning Arctic apple variety, Arctic Fuji, recently completed the voluntary review process with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Arctic Fuji’s are the third apple variety OSF has been approved to grow, along with Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny apples that previously received regulatory approval in 2015.

“Completion of this FDA review is important news for our company as it marks the last step needed for Arctic Fuji to officially join our commercial orchards,” OSF president Neal Carter said. “We get a lot of feedback from people about what Arctic variety they’re excited to see next, and this latest announcement allows us to provide consumers with even more choice when it comes to purchasing value-added fruits for their families to enjoy.”

Through biotechnology, the enzyme in Arctic apples responsible for browning has been turned off, which OSF said can significantly impact unnecessary food waste when it comes to apples that would normally get thrown out after they have turned brown from getting bruised, sliced or bitten, enabling the unique non-browning trait to benefit every sector of the supply chain.

Arctic apples were commercially available for the first time in the fall of 2017 in select U.S. cities, and availability has increased as more trees are planted and fruit volumes increase.

“There have been some major developments for OSF recently, and I’m excited to see what comes next as this is definitely just the start for us,” Carter said.

The announcement follows Arctic Fuji approvals by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service that was granted on Sept. 23, 2016, and by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada on Jan. 30, 2018. FDA is expected to post a letter announcing the completion of its evaluation on its website in the coming weeks. This was the final step required in the regulatory process.

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