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After Agriculture Dept., FDA also approves GMO apples, potatoes

Staff writer |
The Food and Drug Administration approved the genetically engineered foods, saying they are as safe and nutritious as their conventional counterparts.

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The approval covers six varieties of potatoes by Boise, Idaho-based J. R. Simplot Co. and two varieties of apples from the Canadian company Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.

Okanagan, based in British Columbia, is trying to make apples a more convenient snack with its non-browning version. The company says bagged apples wouldn't have to be washed in antioxidants like they are now, a process that can affect taste.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture in February also said it is OK for two varieties of genetically engineered non-browning apples to be sold in the United States.

The agency's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service says the move was based on the fact that the apples are not likely to pose a risk to other plants in the form of bacteria, fungi and other threats.

The apples will be marketed as Arctic Granny and Arctic Golden by Okanagan Specialty Fruits, based in Summerland, British Columbia, in Canada.

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