Daily Archives: February 16, 2015

BC fruit growers say stop the GE apple

Please see the media release from the BC Fruit Growers Association who strongly oppose the introduction of the GE apple which was approved by the US government a couple of days back. Fruit growers across Canada and the US have all said the same, so why is the apple being developed?(Kelowna) – The BC Fruit Growers’ Association stated its ongoing opposition to the approval of Genetically Modified (GM) apples in Canada, despite the approval of the GM “Arctic” Granny Smith and GM “Arctic” Golden Delicious in the US today ( http://www.aphis.usda.gov/stakeholders/downloads/2015/SA_arctic_apples.pdf ). The “Arctic” Granny Smith and Golden Delicious are genetically engineered to modify the gene which controls apple browning. When cut, the apple does not brown, mainly resulting in cosmetic benefit and enhancing the efficiency of fresh cut apple processors. Other apples are available which are naturally slow to oxidise, or brown, when cut. The fruit grower association (representing 520 commercial tree fruit growers in the Okanagan, with BC annual farmgate value of apples of $45.3 million) has opposed the approval of GM apples in Canada due to possible market backlash that could impact all apples. “We regret that the US is approving the Arctic Granny Smith and Arctic Golden Delicious. The apple is considered a pure, unadulterated product, similar to milk. In a 2012 national survey of consumers, 71% said they agreed that there should be categories of food that should not be genetically engineered. Our members would like the apple market to remain free of GM apples,” said Steele. The BCFGA notifies the Canadian public that the situation is, as follows: the Arctic Apple is not approved in Canada at this time. – it would take at least 4 years before any significant volume of arctic apples were available in the marketplace, and even then the volume would be – it is only two varieties of Arctic apple which are are approved in the US at this time Granny Smith and Golden Delicious. “If consumers want to be perfectly assured that they are not eating a GMO apple, then avoid purchase of US Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples . We will advise the public when the product is approved in Canada, and seek to isolate any damage that the apple will cause in the marketplace by advising consumers how to continue purchasing apples while avoiding the Arctic Apple, if they so desire. We would prefer if the Canadian government would place a moratorium on the Arctic Apple, until we see the result of the market experiment in the US,” concluded Steele. The BCFGA represents 520 commercial tree fruit growers in BC and the Fédération des Producteurs de Pommes du Québec represents 555 commercial tree fruit farms in Québec