Hi, I'm Neal Carter, President of Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., and I made the GMO Arctic® apple. AMA!
I am Neal Carter, president of Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., a small biotechnology company based in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada. Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved our flagship project, nonbrowning Arctic® apples after nearly two decades of development and testing. This makes them the first GMO apple, and one of the first ever GMOs with a direct consumer benefit, to be approved for sale.
My work in >50 countries on a wide variety of agricultural projects (and with nearly every crop from maize to mango) as a bioresource engineer has shown me the value biotechnology can offer. And as an apple grower who’s seen apple consumption stagnate over the past couple decades, I thought a great way to boost consumption and reduce food waste would be to develop nonbrowning apples!
Since Arctic apples were approved Friday, we’ve been covered in the NY Times, WSJ, USA Today, NPR and received hundreds of emails from both supporters and, to put it mildly, those who aren't exactly fans of biotechnology.
We look forward to answering your questions today! Afterwards, we hope you’ll continue to connect with us. Here’s how:
EDIT: Thanks so much for having me, I had a blast. Please check out our links and follow us for more information. For my fellow Canadians, look out for our deregulation in the coming months.