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Advisory reports 13.06.2018

Renewal of the authorisation for import, distribution and retail of genetically modified carnation FLO-40689-6

(CGM/180613-02)
  • The present application (C/NL/06/01) concerns the renewal of the authorisation for import, distribution and retail of cut flowers of genetically modified (GM) carnation FLO-40689-6 (Florigene Moonaqua) in the EU;
  • A consent for import, distribution and retail of cut flowers of GM carnation FLO-40689-6 in Europe was granted in 2009. Since the market approval ~12 million flowers have been imported in the EU;
  • COGEM advised positively on the import, distribution and retail of cut flowers of GM carnation FLO-40689-6 in the EU in 2007;
  • GM carnation FLO-40689-6 expresses petunia dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) and Viola flavonoid 3’5’hydroxylase (F3’5’H), enzymes involved in the production of flower pigments. FLO-40689-6 also expresses a mutated SuRB gene from tobacco, which confers tolerance to sulfonylurea herbicides; 
  • The updated bioinformatic analyses and molecular characterisation of GM carnation FLO‑40689-6 meet the criteria of COGEM;
  • Carnation does not have weedy characteristics and cut carnation flowers cannot fertilise wild relatives; 
  • There is no evidence of establishment of FLO-40689-6 in the wild, or of introgression of the transgenes into wild Dianthus species. There are no indications that the introduced traits alter the fitness of cut carnation flowers of FLO-40689-6;
  • The authorisation of FLO-40689-6 will not include the use of the GM carnation as food. Carnation petals are sometimes used to garnish dishes. Therefore, it is likely that in case of unauthorised incidental consumption, only a small amount of FLO-40689-6 would be consumed. The introduced genes are derived from petunia and viola, flowers that are also sometimes used as garnishes, these genes do not encode toxic or allergenic products. COGEM is not aware of any reports indicating that incidental consumption of FLO-40689-6 poses a risk to human health. COGEM is of the opinion that FLO-40689-6 poses a negligible risk to human health in case of unauthorised incidental consumption;
  • Import, distribution and retail of cut carnation flowers of GM FLO-40689-6 pose a negligible risk to the European environment and human health.