SUMMERLAND, B.C. — Okanagan Specialty Fruits of Summerland will receive an award from BIOTECanada for its work in developing the genetically modified, non-browning Arctic apple.
BIOTECanada’s Gold Leaf Award for Early Stage Agriculture will be presented at the 2013 BIO International Convention in Chicago on April 23.
Neal Carter, president of Okanagan Specialty Fruits, is scheduled to deliver two presentations at the conference, one on challenges and opportunities for small companies in agricultural biotechnology and the other on its use in feeding the world.
The Arctic apple has been over a decade in development. Carter hopes to gain USDA Food and Drug Administration approval this year to grow and sell genetically modified apples in the United States.
“We expect a second U.S. public comment period, which will be 30 days long, to open within the next few months and anticipate full U.S. deregulation later in 2013,” Carter said.
The Arctic Golden Delicious and Granny Smith have been modified to not brown when sliced by switching off a gene.
The sliced apple business could save costs of antioxidant treatment to prevent browning and use of sliced apples could increase, Carter has said.
But the Washington apple industry is on the record against USDA approval of genetically engineered apples, fearing negative public reaction.
— Dan Wheat