Canada, US approve genetically engineered arctic apples

Canada, US approve genetically engineered arctic apples

The fruit was developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits and has a unique characteristic: it’s a non-browning apple.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture cleared the apple for sale in the States back in February 2015 and now Canadians will be able to join in on trying the new fruit.

Health Canada said its scientists assessed the apples, grown with a manipulated gene to reduce the levels of enzymes that make the fruit turn brown when sliced, to determine whether they were safe to eat and if they maintained the same level of nutrition as other apples.

“Following this assessment, it was determined that the changes made to the apple did not pose a greater risk to human health than apples currently available on the Canadian market,” Health Canada said.

The agency also concluded the genetically-modified apple “would have no impact on allergies” and that “there are no differences in the nutritional value of the Arctic apple compared to other traditional apple varieties available for consumption.”

The non-browning apples were approved in the U.S. on February 13.

In a statement on its website Friday, Okanagan Specialty Fruits said it would be working with growers “to get as many Arctic (apple) trees in the ground as we can” over the next couple of years and hoped to have “test-market quantities” of the apples available starting in late 2016.