US regulators sitting on non-browning Arctic Apple approval

, | | March 27, 2014
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

A Canadian company petitioned USDA regulators two years ago to “deregulate” – approve for unrestricted cultivation and marketing — a new apple variety called Arctic Apple. It contains a trait that should be appealing to consumers: it is highly resistant to the unappetizing browning that occurs when an apple is cut or bruised.

The biology that made this possible is ingenious, while regulators’ treatment of this new fruit has been dilatory and just plain dumb.

Since the 1980′s, there has been a broad consensus in the scientific community that the newest techniques of genetic modification are essentially an extension, or refinement, of older, less precise and less predictable ones, and that oversight should focus on the characteristics of products, not on the process used to craft them. Ordinarily, the development of a new apple variety would proceed uneventfully, but because the Arctic Apple was developed with genetic modification, the proposed commercialization of this new variety has met with unconscionable and irresponsible regulatory delays.

Read the full, original article: A Better Apple Awaits, But Regulators Won’t Allow Us A Bite

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