Containment measures for genetically modified plants under contained use
Annex 7 to the Netherlands’ Genetically Modified Organisms Regulation 2013 includes a list of plant species, the characteristics of these plant species and any additional containment measures which should be taken when working with these species if they have been modified with sequences that do not encode 'hazardous gene products'.2 This list is based on previous COGEM reports, which contain information on the appropriate containment measures for many plant species and genera. In 2016, COGEM published an amended list of containment measures for activities involving the contained use of plants, and additionally concluded that containment measures should be prescribed per species, and not per genus.3 Containment measures prescribed for genera are undesirable, as species can switch between genera, resulting in changes in containment measures that may not be suitable to the characteristics of the new species.
COGEM initiated a research project to take stock of which species belong to the 40 genera that are mentioned in Annex 7 to the Netherlands GMO Regulation. The current advice contains an amended list (Table 1.) in which genera have been crossed out. For 15 genera, the genus name has been replaced by species (belonging to those genera) that are being used in GM plant research in the Netherlands. A total of 131 relevant species have now been added to the list.