The USDA has approved for public consumption a third genetically-modified (GMO) apple by Okanagan Speciality Fruits, the Arctic Fuji.

From the company’s news release:

Okanagan Specialty Fruits’ (OSF) third nonbrowning Arctic® apple variety, the Arctic® Fuji, has been granted deregulated status by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS).  Arctic® Fuji apples have been found to be as safe and nutritious as conventional apples, joining OSF’s Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny varieties.

“The response to Arctic® Fuji apples and our overall platform to deliver direct benefits to consumers has been encouraging,” said Neal Carter, Okanagan Specialty Fruits’ founder and president.  “We are confident the positive feedback we have received will translate to the marketplace.”

The approval follows a review of OSF’s petition for extension by USDA APHIS and the successful conclusion of a comment period that solicited public feedback on the application. In an announcement from USDA APHIS, Michael J. Firko, APHIS Deputy Administrator, explained that “this determination of nonregulated status of [Arctic® Fuji] apples is the most scientifically sound and appropriate regulatory decision.”

OSF’s Arctic® apples have been improved through a reduction of the enzyme polyphenol oxidase (PPO), the primary cause of browning in fruit. The Arctic Advantage™ nonbrowning solution becomes apparent when an apple is sliced, bitten or bruised.  Importantly, Arctic® apples provide this benefit without the use of flavor-altering chemical additives.  Moving forward Okanagan Specialty Fruits will continue to focus on developing Arctic®nonbrowning tree fruits while expanding acreage of the approved Arctic® Golden, Arctic® Granny and Arctic® Fuji apples.