USDA Deregulates Non-Browning Apples

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health InspectionService (APHIS) is announcing its decision to deregulate two apple varieties geneticallyengineered (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.

These varieties, developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. (OSF), will be marketed as the Arctic® Granny and Arctic® Golden. OSF is also currently engaging in a voluntary food safety assessment consultation with the Food and Drug Administration regarding its Arctic® Apples.

APHIS’ final PPRA and final environmental assessment can be found at

Upcoming Free Webinar: Mobile Slaughter Units

The upcoming webinar at Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network may be of interest to farmers in Ashtabula County:

Mobile Slaughter Units
Mobile slaughter units have helped some small/niche livestock farmers address demand for local meat to offset the closure of many local processors. Hopefully this will provide some ideas for those of you considering one for your community. Could a mobile unit for fish/seafood be far behind (if there’s not one already)?

​Mobile Slaughter Units (MSUs): An International Perspective

A Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network webinar.

Date: February 18, 2015
Time: 9am PST/12pm EST
Duration: one hour
To attend: Go to 5-10 minutes before start time and log in as a guest.

All NMPAN webinars are free and open to the public.

The first USDA-inspected mobile slaughter unit (MSU) for red meat species began operating in 2002. Since then, MSUs have not only evolved in size and design but have also gone international: Europe, South America, Papua New Guinea, and soon in Africa.

On this webinar we’ll hear about MSUs operating both in the U.S. and overseas: learning how they meet regulatory requirements, handle animals humanely, manage water, assure food safety, and more. We’ll discuss MSU design concepts, challenges and future improvements and leave plenty of time for Q&A.

Speakers include:
Thomas Lyck, Hälsingestintan (Sweden)
Bruce Dunlop, Island Grown Farmer’s Co-Op (USA), and designer of MSUs in Chile and Papua New Guinea
Mike Callicrate, Ranch Foods Direct (USA)
For more information: email Kathryn Quanbeck, NMPAN Program Manager: kathryn.quanbeck[at]oregonstate[dot]edu.

How to join NMPAN: go to the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network website, type your email address into the box on the right, and click “subscribe.”



Producer Survey Live!

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