Arctic® Fuji apples are now one step closer to U.S. deregulation! Following the submission of our initial application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Service (APHIS) requesting nonregulated status (commercial approval), we are excited to announce that OSF’s Arctic® Fuji petition is now available to the public. This application contains data on the introduction and testing of the nonbrowning trait in Fuji variety apples which uses the same safe, beneficial technology as the Arctic® Granny and Arctic® Golden.
This APHIS petition differs from the petition submitted for our initial varieties because it is considered an extension of our previously approved petition. The nonbrowning trait in our Arctic® Fuji variety is no longer unique in apples; USDA APHIS evaluated the method of introduction and potential impacts of this trait in Arctic® Granny and Arctic® Golden, concluding that these varieties are just as safe for consumers and the environment as conventional apples.
The USDA considers a petition eligible for the extension process when:
- What the trait does and how it was introduced to the plant is functionally equivalent to one previously deregulated
- The trait has been expressed in the crop before, and
- The crop with this trait has previously successfully completed USDA APHIS deregulation.
APHIS has published a number of documents assessing Arctic® Fuji apples, including their Preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact, a Preliminary Extended Determination and Plant Pest Risk Similarity Assessment for Arctic® Fuji, and are now soliciting public comment on the petition and these assessments. Following the conclusion of this public comment period, a final decision on deregulation will be made. If you want to learn more about the role USDA plays in biotech regulation, we recommend watching this video, which provides an overview.
So what does this all mean in the big picture? You should see the regulatory process for the Arctic® Fuji conclude more quickly than for Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny, possibly even later this year! We look forward to sharing Arctic® Fuji apples and their Arctic Advantage™ with consumers as soon as we’re able!