Good Fruit Grower

June 2016

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Page 36 of 47 Good Fruit Grower JUNE 2016 37 yield a small crop this fall, while the company plans to plant significantly more acreage of both varieties in 2016, mostly in Washington, with increasing quantities in the following years in other states and Canada. The company will test market the first apples from this year in a few select stores, but as it ramps up production, it will distribute to a variety of locations in both the U.S. and Canada, Carter said. Carter declined to say which growers, packers or retailers will be working with Arctic apples. At the same time, the firm expects U.S. approval sometime this year of its latest variety, the Arctic Fuji, with Canadian approval to follow within another year. Arctic Fuji Specialty Fruits applied for U.S. deregulation for the Fuji on Dec. 31, 2015, in the form of an extension to the documents of previously approved varieties. The process should move faster than the original application, filed with the U.S. authorities in 2010 and the year after in Canada. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service have regulatory oversight of biotech- nology in America. In Canada, the two agencies involved are Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Once approvals are in place, the company may propa- gate and market the apples as if there was nothing differ- ent about them. "What that approval means is it's treated like any other apple variety," Carter said. At its laboratory in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Specialty Fruits alters the DNA of apples to silence an enzyme that causes apple flesh to brown when exposed to oxygen, such as when it's sliced or bitten. Specialty Fruits plans to apply for approval for an Arctic Gala by the end of 2017, with other varieties to follow. The company also is seeking agreements to grow and market its Arctic apples in other countries, a lengthy process just as it is in North America. "The regulatory thing is quite onerous no matter where you are in the world," Carter said. In Mexico, the company is seeking a food safety assess- ment to ship Arctic apples in the country and slice them there, he said, while a group of Australians is discussing growing the apples with the company's representatives. The company both plants its own orchards and con- tracts with outside growers. Either way, and no matter where the trees are planted, Okanagan Specialty Fruits will own the trees and apples, unlike the royalty arrange- ments that usually accompany club varieties, Carter said. Such a structure will give Specialty Fruits more control to prevent cross-pollination and other co-mingling of conventional fruit, one of the biggest objections to the controversial genetic techniques, Carter said. So far, the company has contracted with two large, well-established growers, one in Washington, one in the Eastern U.S. Carter declined to specify the locations. Okanagan Specialty Fruits was purchased in April 2015 by Intrexon Corp., a biotechnology company based in Germantown, Maryland. • Arctic Fuji apple slices, left, resist browning more than conventional apple slices. "The regulatory thing is quite onerous no matter where you are in the world." —Neal Carter Don't get caught with your plants down! Hot New Varieties Trees? 2018 2017 Apples * Cherries * Pears Call today to place your order! 503-538-2131 • FAX: 503-538-7616 • 800-421-4001 We've got you covered!

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