A third genetically-modified (GMO) apple was recently commercially approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The non-browning fruit is the third such variety from Okanagan Specialty Fruits, based in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada. It joins the Arctic golden and Arctic granny varieties.
Apple crops are usually subject to a number of diseases, which can result in costly industry loses. For this reason, genetic research has found that certain genes, when transferred to apples, produce substances that either destroy pathogens or block infection. And, according to the company, they could largely eliminate the need for fungicides and other chemical spraying.
Michael Firko, deputy administrator for the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said the new status for the Arctic Fuji is the “most scientifically sound and appropriate regulatory decision.”