Good Fruit Grower

August 2014

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48 AUGUST 2014 Good Fruit Grower G enetically modified Arctic apples from Okanagan Specialty Fruits in British Columbia, Canada, are awaiting dereg- ulation by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which has completed its review process, including public comment periods. GMO crops are controversial and have spurred debate. The debaters include apple mar- keters who, while not sharing concerns about the safety of genetically modi- fied crops, fear the pristine image of apples could be tarnished and the mere pres- ence of GMO apples could cause consumer backlash and cause consumption of all apples to fall. The U.S. Apple Association has stated the industry position: The sci- ence is probably okay, but we can't risk apples losing their healthful image and being rejected by consumers. We don't need GMO apples. The creators of Arctic apples say apple consump- tion could increase if sliced apples didn't turn brown and unappetizing. Arctic apples contain a gene that silences production of the enzyme that causes flesh browning. Sliced apples with that trait could elevate the position of apples as a convenient snack food where whole apples are too large a portion. Despite any benefits, crops that are Geneti- cally Modified Organisms remain anathema to a core of dedicated, vocal opponents. These oppo- nents would like to see these "Frankenfoods" banned entirely or, if not banned, studied more intensively and labeled. And then there is the position of the United States government. In 1992, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled that a trait introduced into a food crop by genetic engineering is no dif- ferent than a trait introduced by traditional plant breeding methods. Battles over whether foods containing genet- ically modified crops need to be labeled have taken place in ballot boxes and legislatures in several states and even at the county levels, with California, Washington State, and Vermont draw- ing the most attention. Labeling was rejected in referenda by voters in Washington and Califor- nia. In Vermont, the legislature passed—and the governor signed—a new law requiring that foods containing GMO ingredients be so labeled. The Grocery Manufacturers Association has sued to stop that law from taking effect, saying it could set a precedent for a patchwork of state regula- tions that would make food manufacturing and marketing much more difficult and expensive. Meanwhile, the bulk of Americans—and increasing numbers of people in other coun- tries—eat GMO foods every day. In the United States in 2012, 93 percent of the soybeans and 88 percent of the corn came from GMO plants. No allergies or other toxic reactions have been reported from the sweeteners, starches, flours, cooking oils, and salad dressings, or the food or fiber products made from genetically engineered crops. Genetic engineers keep moving forward, too, identifying genes and enhancing new crops with traits that improve nutrient value, impart toler- ance to drought, disease, insects, and salt, or pro- vide a host of other benefits. The list of genes that modify traits grows longer. What's the issue? Opponents of GMOs pose many objections. For example, they do not believe organic crops can share the environment with GMO crops, Deregulation process misses a key point, critics say, claiming GMOs are not substantially equivalent. by Richard Lehnert MacroBins ® • American Made • Easily Cleaned • Can be Sterilized • High Quality Plastic Resin • Interlock Stacking • Various Sizes • Vented or Solid ORDER EARLY! What Sets OVS Apart? Convenient One-Stop Shopping for Viticulturists Growers Supplies Equipment • Guidance Parts & Service Full Agronomic Services Buy from MacroPlastics' original Pacifi c Northwest distributor! ML910-01-OVSGFG-2 OVS AURORA 19658 Hwy. 99 E. Hubbard, OR (971) 216-0111 OVS MCMINNVILLE 2700 St. Joseph Rd. McMinnville, OR (503) 435-2700 OVS MEDFORD Distribution Warehouse 640A Mason Way Medford, OR 97501 (541) 613-7330 OVS UMATILLA Distribution Warehouse 500 6th Street Umatilla, OR 97882 (800) 653-2216 Ext. 1 100% Employee Owned and Operated * NEW THIS YEAR * 2% cash discount on orders placed by 8/31 and picked up by 10/31 GMO debate rages

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