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Okanagan company behind genetically modified apple sold to American firm

Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. of summer land spent almost five years getting U.S. approval for an apple genetically engineered no to turn brown.
Image Credit: Contributed/Okanagan Specialty Fruits
February 28, 2015 - 2:27 PM

SUMMERLAND – Just a couple weeks after getting approval to sell two of it’s controversial apples in the U.S., Okanagan Specialty Fruits has been sold to a synthetic biology company in the States.

Interxon is paying about $41-million in stock and cash for the Summerland company that created an apple genetically engineered not to turn brown.

“We are committed to bringing better versions of consumers’ favourite fruits to their grocery stores and kitchens, while addressing additional novel traits in tree fruits that reduce waste and address supply chain challenges,” Okanagan Specialty Fruits founder Neal Carter said in a media release.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said, when granting approval, the apple is unlikely to pose a risk to agriculture or plants inside the country and the company can now market the product to growers.

“Through this acquisition, we can deliver more accessible and affordable choices of high-quality foods for an ever-growing population,” Thomas R. Kasser with Intrexon said in the release.

Fred Steele of the B.C. Fruit Growers Association said that while the U.S. government and scientists may approve of the product, consumers may not, and the apple poses a risk to the organic market.

But Carter said the Arctic apples are a huge opportunity to introduce the product to the food-service industry.

He said baby carrots changed consumers' consumption in the 1990s and the Arctic apple could do the same thing.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at or call 250-491-0331. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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