Category Archives: GE apple

GE apple approved in Canada

The Canadian government announced approval of the non browning GE apple at the end of last week. This is no surprise as the US government also approved the apple a few weeks back, and US and Canadian health authorities usually approve GE applications.

But – many GE crops are approved and don’t make it to the market. If you want to stop the GE apple getting to market then go to our campaign page at

Go to your local store and ask them to commit to not selling the GE apple, and write to our Minister of Agriculture asking him to carry out the review of the likely impact of the GE apple on the BC apple industry – something he promised to do in 2012 but a promise he hasn’t kept as yet. For more details click the link above.

Canada’s largest food distributor says no to the GE apple

Loblaw’s, Canada’s largest food distributor, has responded to public requests by saying it will not buy the GE apple. This adds to food distributors and stores across the country that have said they will not buy the GE apple.

If you want to learn more about our campaign against the GE apple, see

Country Grocers says no to the GE apple

Many thanks to Country Grocer, the Vancouver Island and Saltspring supermarket, which has committed to not selling the GE apple. Country Grocer has seven stores in  in Victoria (Esquimalt, Royal Oak), Ganges, Nanaimo (Bowen Road, Chase River), Lake Cowichan, and Cobble Hill.

Close to 100 stores across BC have now committed to not selling the GE apple.

Do you want to help out? If you have a local grocery store that you think would sign on to not selling the GE apple, please go to and download the retail letter from HANS (our partner agency in this campaign) and take it into the store and get it signed.

If no stores stock the apple, investors will pull the plug on it, as they did with the genetically engineered pig that was being developed at the University of Guelph.

Here’s your chance to make a difference.

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 ( ). 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

USDA approves the GE apple

The US approved the GE apple today. It has not been approved in Canada, but Canada may follow suit.

This isn’t a surprise as the USDA approves pretty much all GE applications. The majority of those approved never make it to market.

We are going to include actions you can take in the next two posts. Act now or the future of apples is genetically engineered.

There has been a fair bit of press on this here in BC, on BC Almanac and CTV.

There is still time to stop the GE apple even if it is approved in Canada, but now it’s even more urgent. HANS and GE Free BC are running a marketing campaign to get stores to commit to not selling the apple. So far 77 stores and 2 food processors have committed, and we are signing more up every day. If there is no market for the GE apple it won’t fly.

We are  also pressing the BC government to carry out the review of the GE apple it promised in 2012, when it said it was concerned about the impact of the apple on the BC fruit industry.


the Ge apple in the Chilliwack Times

Read a recent piece in the Chilliwack Times about the potential impact of the GE apple

BC government refuses to carry out its promised review of the genetically engineered apple

Press release from the Society for a GE Free BC

The BC. government is refusing to carry out a review of the genetically engineered (GE) apple it promised in 2012. The GE apple developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits in Summerland BC is genetically engineered to not turn brown for about 15 days after it is cut, and is under assessment for approval in Canada and the US.

“Unless the BC government acts now, the GE apple could be approved before the promised review takes place,” said Tony Beck of the Society for a GE Free BC, “The government needs to carry out a review which is fair, transparent, and receives adequate input from consumers, farmers and scientific experts.”

In 2012 the Union of BC Municipalities voted for a moratorium on the GE apple and the promise of a review was part of the government’s response.

The Society for a GE Free BC, a grassroots community coalition working for sustainable agriculture and against genetic engineering of crops and animals, has made several requests for this review and meetings with the Ministry of Agriculture – with no response.

“Our government must consult British Columbians, retailers and both organic and conventional apple growers on this urgent GE apple problem,” said Teresa Lynne of the Society for a GE Free BC.

The BC Fruit Growers’ Association has also requested a moratorium on approving the GE apple.

This week Nicholas Simons, BC NDP agriculture critic, will present over 7,000 signatures gathered by the Society for a GE Free BC in 20 communities, calling for a moratorium on the GE apple. Simons also introduced two questions to the BC Legislature on May 12th asking for the review of the GE apple the government promised, with no response as yet.

In 2012, the Liberal government of the day noted its concern about negative impacts of the GE apple and promised a review in response to the UBCM resolution:

“The Province recognizes that production of Genetically Engineered (GE) fruit trees and their products, including tree fruit and pollen, raises human and environmental health concerns in export markets. These concerns can negatively impact access to those export and some domestic markets for both conventional and organic products.

If the Federal Government were to allow unconfined production of GE trees and other fruits in Canada, the fruit production and sales could be significantly impacted. The Province will explore the complex GE fruit issue and the UBCM resolution to request legislation to prohibit the BC production, importation and export of GE fruit trees and their products. Upon completion of this review, the Province will provide UBCM with its findings.”

Media contacts:

Tony Beck, Society for a GE Free BC, 250 538 8320

Teresa Lynne, Society for a GE Free BC, 604 837 1739

Nicholas Simons, NDP Agriculture Critic, 604 741 1536

Stop the GE apple – join the twitter party April 23rd

Join us for a Twitter party to stop the GE apple on the 23rd April.

Rid us of the GE apple in 140 characters!



3 weeks to stop the GM apple

What are you doing to stop the genetically engineered apple? The GM apple that will look fresh 15-18 days after it’s cut. The GM apple that has 2 different bacteria and 1 plant virus added to the apple DNA to stop it from browning.  The GM apple, that if approved, will lead to genetically engineered granny smith, golden delicious, fuji and gala apples as well as cherries, peaches and pears.

Get signatures on the petition now at GE Apple petition


Nova Scotia apple growers say to the GM apple

Nova Scotia apple growers have joined apple growers across Canada saying they want to stop production of the GM apple being developed in the Okanagan.

All apple growers’ associations in Canada, through the Apple Growers Group, have now said stop the GM apple. So why is it being developed?

For our apple campaign, go to the Nova Scotia apple growers, see

BC Government says no to GE trees on crown land

So why would they let anyone grow a GE apple tree in the Province?

Rally in Kelowna to stop the GE apple 15th February 11.30 a.m.

Join the rally against the GE apple in Kelowna this Saturday, organised by the True Food Foundation. You can find out more on their Facebook page at

And read on for True Food Foundation’s press release

For details about GE Free BC’s campaign against the GE apple, go to: Continue reading

Nature’s Fare Markets say no to the GE apple and GE foods

GE apples being tested in Washington State

Seven acres of GMO Arctic apple already grown in Washington state – planted in May 2012 under a USDA permit in order to get a head start trying them out, said Neil Carter. Will be ready in fall of 2014 when the apples should be deregulated, said Carter.

see: learn more about GE Free BC ad CBAN’s campaign against the GE apple, go to:

BC apple growers say stop the GE apple

The BC Fruit Growers’ Association (BCFGA) has asked the federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz to immediately stop the federal regulatory process needed for approval of the non-browning GM apple. “Our concern is the negative publicity for apples in general caused by the controversy over this GM apple,” said Jeet Dukhia, BCFGA president. “There is potential market damage caused to apple markets if this GM apple is approved. Indeed, it seems the damage is occurring even while the apple is in the regulatory process and a decision on its approval is still pending. The public thinks of apples as a pure, natural, healthy and nutritional fruit. GM apples are a risk to our market image.”

Stop the GE apple: act now

Today GE Free BC and Greenpeace local volunteers launch what is probably the biggest tour on genetic engineering to take place in Western Canada. We will post regular blogs on the tour, and if you haven’t seen the details of the tour go to:

At every stop on the tour, we will have information and actions to stop the GE apple. You can help put a halt to an apple no-one seems to want – go to  for actions you can take including contacting your MLA and getting signatures on a petition. We are asking the BC government for a moratorium on the apple until it is publicly tested and proven safe for the environment and our health.

Email any actions you take to or comment on this blog, so we can coordinate the campaign across the Province.

GE apple in the news

We have fielded a lot of requests from the media today so look out for broadcasts on your local radtion station and articles in your local media. Here is one from CP.

Arctic Apple’ Genetically Engineered In B.C. Prompts Protest
CP  |  By The Canadian Press
Posted: 11/12/2013 3:06 pm EST  |  Updated: 11/12/2013 3:54 pm EST

VANCOUVER – Groups against genetically engineered apples that don’t brown say they’re staging a series of events in British Columbia and Alberta to raise awareness about the product being hailed as a scientific breakthrough.

The Society for a GE-Free BC and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network say the United States is one step closer to approving the genetically modified apple after a call for public comment on a draft environmental assessment for the product. Continue reading

Tell the USDA what you think about the GE apple

The comments period is open until the 9th December. Your chance to have your voice heard!!!!submitComment;D=APHIS_FRDOC_0001-1532

GE apple near approval in the U.S.

GE Free BC and CBAN are about to launch a major campaign to stop the GE apple. Look out for our press release this coming Tuesday and get involved in a campaign in your community. All details will be up on the CBAN website by Wednesday.

We will be asking everyone to write and talk to their MLAs and ask the Province to carry out the review of the apple that they promised after the Union of BC Municipalities resolution against the apple in 2012. There will be other campaign activities so check back to this site on a regular basis.

Continue reading

A GE apple coming to a store near you soon?

According to Okanagan Specialty Fruits, who are developing the GE apple here in BC in Summerland, approval may not be that far off.

The bad news is the GE apple could be approved in the next 6 months

We will be launching a major campaign against the GE apple soon, if you want to get involved email us at

Please donate to our campaigns – we are 100% volunteer and all of your funds will go to the campaign. Donate using the button on the right hand side of the blog home page.


Organic non-browning apple already on the market

Rally against the GE apple, Kelowna, 30 March

Saturday March 30, 11-12 noon on the overpass at the Parkinson Recreation Center (Crossway crosses highway 97)

For more info email

Anti GE resolution accepted by BC municipalities

At the recent Union of BC municipalities meeting in Victoria, the GE Free resolution against the GE apple proposed by the Okanagan-Similkameen was accepted. The resolution is below. You can help stop the GE apple – go to to sign a petition and get more information about what you can do. We will be continuing to campaign on this issue in the fall.
The text of the resolution follows: Continue reading

Anti-GE apple rally in the Okanagan a big success

Franken-apples at the eye of the GMO storm

Monday, 01 October 2012 02:00     Kelowna Daily Courier

Sixty protesters rallied against what they call Franken-apples in a bid to stop genetically engineered fruit from entering grocery stores.
People sang and waved signs in Kerry Park expressing outrage that Health Canada is considering a bid by a Summerland biotech company to plant trees that grow non-browning apples. Continue reading

Friends of the Earth eats an apple

As well as the numerous groups opposing the GE apple in Canad, it is also being opposed in the U.S. Here’s a satire on the GE apple

Stop the GE apple – sign the petition

This petition is going to the BC legislature. Help stop the GE apple. Remember we will likely have a new government in place in 2013 and we want to send a clear message of support to courageous Lana Popham, NDP Agriculture Critic, that British Columbians don’t want GE crops.

CBAN corrects info on the GE apple

Western Producer
Letters to the editor – July 26, 2012
Posted Jul. 27th, 2012
Continue reading

Okanagan speaks out against the GE apple

Public interest groups including apple growers have issued a press release against the GE apple – see below for the text. A fact sheet on the GE apple can be found here:


GM Apple Jeopardizes Okanagan’s Reputation, say local groups

August 14, 2012. Kelowna – Today, groups in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley united to appeal to the local company “Okanagan Specialty Fruits” to stop pursuing a genetically engineered (genetically modified or GM) “nonbrowning” apple which they say jeopardizes the reputation of the Okanagan as a pristine fruit growing area. Continue reading

Hear Lucy Sharratt debate Neal Carter on the GE apple

Tomorrow morning 9-10AM – Neal Carter, President of Okanagan Specialty Fruits followed by Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.
Call in show!

Okanagan Regional District resolution against the GMO apple

One of our major campaigns right now is against the non-browning apple being development by Okanagan Specialty Fruits in Summerland, BC. We are working on this with CBAN, the True Food Foundation, the Council of Canadians Kelowna and the Okanagan Greens. The Okanagan Organic Festival on the 23rd September in Kelowna will focus on the GMO apple. And now the Regional District of the Okanagan and Similikameen has unanimously passed a resolution against the GMO apple, which will go to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities this September. We will be posting a letter you can send to your mayor and councillors in advance of this September meeting. The resolution follows: Continue reading

Harry Burton on why we don’t need a GE apple

Apple Cravings by Harry Burton

(Source COG:

The first tree of every apple variety grew from a single seed. To create that seed, pollen from another apple variety (the male), landed on the stigma of an apple blossom where it germinated. This fertilization process combines DNA from two apple varieties, so that the apple seed, just like any child born, is different from the parents. Thus, every apple seed that grows produces a TOTALLY NEW APPLE VARIETY. Continue reading


Our campaigning is working. South Okanagan Regional Council are opposing the planned GE apple. Check back to this blog for updates on the GE apple campaign, and if you want to get involved in a campaign against GE crops and apples in your community email us at

Why we don’t need a GE apple

I am writing this letter as president of the Similkameen Okanagan Organic Treefruit Growers Association regarding the CFIA application GD 743 and GS 784 – the request for approval of the sale/distribution of the Arctic tree/apple. We request that the following points be considered in evaluating it.

Loss of Organic Production

   The inevitable measureable impact of the “Arctic” apple on the local economy will be a loss of at least $4,000,000 annually. Because of cross-pollination [bees fly as much as 4 miles from a hive], organic producers will not get certification. This will cost organic tree fruit growers in the Okanagan-Similkameen  (based on 16,000 bins of apple production) $2,500,000 in revenue annually . The Cawston Cold Storage Packinghouse will close: they cannot remain open running just soft fruit, costing local jobs and eliminating a payroll approaching $1,500,000. Next to School District #53, CCS is the biggest employer in the Similkameen. It is unclear, whether the other two organic packing sheds, Harkers and Organics Plus can stay open but in any scenario the loss of organic apples will result in job cuts. The total impact on the economy, the loss to suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, truckers, local business, is hard to gauge but will be in the millions. Continue reading