The Department of Agriculture’s USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service plans to approve a non-browning variety of Fuji apple. The announcement comes following a review concluding the apple does not pose a risk to human health or the environment, according to Agri-Pulse. The specific variety would be the third in the Arctic Apple line to gain APHIS approval. APHIS relied on the environmental analysis it already performed on the two other varieties. USDA said approval of the new variety will not change consumer demand for other apples including conventional or organic varieties. APHIS received thousands of comments on the two varieties of apples that had been approved earlier for commercialization, and many were negative. However, Duarte Nursery of California said the variety “will help extend the usefulness” of the apple, adding the apple is proven safe and will help reduce food waste.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.
From: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
USDA Announces Deregulation of Non-Browning Apples
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing its decision to deregulate two apple varieties genetically engineered (GE) to resist browning.
APHIS is taking this action based on a final plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) that finds the GE apples are unlikely to pose a plant pest risk to agriculture and other plants in the United States. APHIS also completed an environmental assessment (EA) to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that finds deregulation is not likely to have a significant impact on the human environment.
Under APHIS’ regulations, pursuant to the Plant Protection Act (PPA), APHIS is specifically required to evaluate if the apple varieties are a plant pest risk to agricultural crops or other plants or plant products. The Act defines a plant pest as organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, or insects that can cause harm to agricultural crops or other plants or plant products. If APHIS finds through its rigorous scientific review that a new GE plant is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk, then under the law and its regulations, it is required to deregulate the GE plant.
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