Import, distribution and retail of cut flowers with modified flower colour (GM carnation SHD-27531-4)

Advisory reports | 12.07.2013 | CGM/130711-01

The application by Suntory Holdings Ltd. of file C/NL/13/01 concerns the authorisation for import, distribution and retail of genetically modified (GM) carnation variety SHD-27531-4.
COGEM has previously advised on this application and concluded that the risk assessment could not be completed due to an incomplete molecular characterisation. The applicant recently provided additional molecular analyses. COGEM considers the molecular characterisation adequate.
Carnation does not have weedy characteristics and although carnation is cultivated for centuries there are no reports of establishment of cut flower carnation varieties in the wild. The GM carnation variety SHD-27531-4 has a modified flower colour and is tolerant to sulfonylurea herbicides. These traits are not associated with a potential for weediness.
Carnation is not able to fertilise wild relatives spontaneously and, therefore, the risk of transfer of the introduced genes to related species is negligible. Formation of seed on cut flowers is highly improbable.
The application does not concern an authorisation for use as food. COGEM is of the opinion that there are no reasons to assume that a rare case of incidental consumption will pose a risk to human health.
In view of the aforementioned, COGEM is of the opinion that the risks to the environment and human health resulting from import of cut flowers of GM carnation variety SHD-27531-4 are negligible. 

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