Arctic® Apples

Backgrounder

July 2021

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny apples for commercial production in 2015.  Approval of the Arctic® Fuji apple was approved in 2019.  Arctic® brand apples are a product of biotechnology.
  • In the U.S., a biotech trait must receive approvals from the USDA that it is safe to release into the environment, and from the FDA that it is safe for human consumption. So long as both questions are answered in the affirmative, USDA (the lead agency) has no statutory authority to withhold full deregulatory approval.
  • The FDA has stated that Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny apples are safe and offer the same nutrition benefits as non-GM apples.  
  • USApple supports consumer choice in the apples and apple products they select.

  • All other apples are non-GM and will remain available for consumers to continue buying.

  • Okanagan Specialty Fruits® – the company that developed Arctic apples – is marketing pre-sliced and diced Arctic apples to both retailers and foodservice, along with their Arctic ApBitz® dried apple snacks. The packages are labeled with a Quick Response (QR) code that links to Arctic apple’s website.  The QR code was specifically allowed by the GM labeling bill passed by Congress in 2016. For more Arctic brand information, go to www.arcticapples.com.

  • Consumer demand will determine the future of GM apples in the U.S. marketplace.  
  • Arctic apples were developed using the apples’ own genes to “turn off” or silence the enzyme that makes apples brown when bitten, sliced, or bruised. 

  • Browning is a naturally occurring process resulting from an apple’s exposure to oxygen, but consumers may enjoy the option of purchasing a “non-browning” apple. 

  • Stores will continue to sell non-GM apples that are very low browning.  There are also simple methods to slow the browning process, such as lightly coating sliced or cut apples with Vitamin C-fortified apple juice (most apple juice sold is Vitamin C-fortified).
  • To continue discovering new and valuable benefits from apples, USApple supports advancements from technology including genetics and genomics research.  

  • Benefits can include attributes such as quality, new varieties, new aromatic flavor profiles, improved pest resistance, and enhanced nutrition.

U.S. Apple Association (USApple) supports consumption of apples and apple products as part of a healthy lifestyle.  For more apple nutrition information, visit:

http://usapple.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=53&Itemid=43