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article imageCanada approves the genetically-modified, non-browning apple

By Marcus Hondro     Mar 21, 2015 in Technology
Another genetically-modified food product has been approved for sale in Canada. Non-browning apples, which have a manipulated gene to prevent browning, were approved by Health Canada on Friday.
The manipulation is done in such a way as to reduce the number of enzymes that cause apples to brown. Called the 'Arctic apple' it is being grown by Okanagan Specialty Fruits of B.C. The Health Canada website notes that the application for approval was submitted in 2011. Non-browning apples were approved in the United States last month.
Health Canada's website also noted that the apple was tested according to procedures set out in the Canadian Guidelines for Safety Assessment of Novel Foods.
"In order to determine whether the apple could be sold in Canada as food, the scientists at Health Canada conducted a scientific assessment that ensured the apple is safe for consumption, still has all its nutritional value and therefore does not differ from other apples available on the market," Health Canada said in a press release.
"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 added.
"In addition, Health Canada also concluded that the Arctic 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. "
Following the Health Canada announcement, Okanagan Specialty Fruits said they hope to have their genetically-modified apple on the market sometime in the fall or winter of 2016. They will market both an Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny apple.
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