Import of cut flowers of the genetically modified carnation variety ‘Florigene Moonlite’
The application concerns the commercial import of cut flowers of a genetically modified carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) variety with a modified flower colour. The cut flowers are produced outside the EU member states. A similar transgenic carnation variety has previously been approved for commercial production within the EU in 1997. Carnation does not have weedy characteristics and although carnation is grown for centuries it has never been found in the wild. The introduced traits, flower colour and herbicide tolerance do not alter the biological characteristics of the plant. Carnation is not able to outcross with wild relatives and the risk of transfer of the introduced traits to related species is absent. Petals of carnation are occasionally used as garnishing. The genetically modified carnation variety has a history of safe use and results of toxicity tests indicate that detrimental effects are absent. Moreover, the exposure to potential harmful proteins caused by incidental consumption of garnish elements is too low to evoke adverse effects like allergic reactions. In view of the aforementioned COGEM is of the opinion that the risks for the environment and human health associated with import of cut flowers are negligible.