The US has approved two types of genetically modified (GM) apples – the Arctic® Granny and Arctic® Golden – that resist browning when sliced and bruised, but they are not available in Australia.
Currently, the USA is not permitted to import ANY apples to Australia.
Moreover, before any GM product can be used or imported in Australia it must be submitted for approval to the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator to assess any risks. The Arctic apples have not been submitted for approval in Australia.
In the statement about the US approval of the Arctic apples – USDA announces deregulation of non-browning apples – the approving body, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), said:
APHIS is taking this action based on a final plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) that finds the GE [genetically engineered / genetically modified] 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.
The USDA has prepared Questions and Answers: Arctic Apple Deregulation to help people understand their decision on approving the apples.
APAL currently supports the breeding and development of new apple and pear varieties, but this work will not result in GM apples or pears.