Update on GM Petunias- 26 May 2017

New varieties that are confirmed as GM are Bonnie Red 14, as well as Trixi La Bomba and Trixi Coco Bello mixes as they contain Bonnie Red 14.

Previously notified as suspect GM varieties, but now confirmed as GM:

  • Bonnie Red 14
  • Bonnie Orange
  • Electric Orange
  • Sanguna Salmon
  • Potunia Plus Papaya
  • African Sunset
  • Bonnie Orange 15

Suspect GM varieties

  • Sentuna 2.0 GShell Orange Nr. 11-45
  • Sentuna 2.0 Rose Coral 315
  • Charms Flame 2-140
  • Cascadias Red Lips
  • Capella Red
  • Orange Yellow Centre 749 (07336)
  • Bingo Coral Orange
  • Crazytunia Citrus Twist
  • Crazytunia Kabloom
  • GS Hellorange
  • Happy Classic Yellow Orange Stripes 0-82
  • My Love Orange
  • Orange Star
  • Orange Yellow Zone 225
  • Potunia Plus Red, Art. 40302
  • Stars Yellow Orange
  • Happy Classic Orange Morn 0-65

Update on GM Petunias- 19 May 2017

The full list of varieties which to date have been implicated as GM is as follows:

  • Pegasus Orange
  • Pegasus Orange Morn
  • Pegasus Table Orange
  • Potunia Plua Papaya
  • Go!Tunia Orange
  • Bonnie Orange
  • African Sunset
  • Sanguna Patio Salmon
  • Sanguna Salmon
  • Electric Orange
  • Viva Orange
  • Viva Fire
  • Viva Orange Vein

In relation to the Sanguna Patio Salmon variety, this was reported as GM by the Finnish authorities but subsequent test results by the breeding company and the Dutch authorities have been negative for GM status.  So far no importer/producer has indicated in response to APHA that they are holding plants of this variety, which suggests that its status may be a non-issue for the UK.  However, we are looking further into this, because if plants are present here we would like to undertake our own GM testing. 

Of the other twelve varieties, we know that the following are present in the UK:

  • Pegasus Orange
  • Pegasus Orange Morn
  • Potunia Plua Papaya
  • Go!Tunia Orange
  • African Sunset
  • Sanguna Salmon
  • Viva Fire
  • Viva Orange Vein

Further testing in the UK or by the responsible breeding company has confirmed that the Sanguna Salmon and Potunia Plua Papaya varieties are GM.  Confirmatory testing is being performed on the other varieties known to be in the UK, for which the results should become available shortly.

Statement from DEFRA on GM Petunias - 11 May 2017

Following an initial report that GM petunias had been found on the market in Finland, supplied as young plants from Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands, the European Commission asked other EU Member States to check the position in their territory and take appropriate action. 

Although the petunias are not considered to pose a risk to human health or the environment, because there is no EU authorisation for GM petunias they cannot legally be sold.  The task for the UK authorities is therefore to ensure that no marketing of GM petunias is taking place.  Defra is the responsible authority for England with the Devolved Administrations (DAs) in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland responsible for their territories.  In practice Defra is working with the DAs to ensure a joined-up approach across the UK.

Our Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has emailed importers and producers of petunia plants and seeds in England and Wales, making it clear that GM plants must not be marketed and asking them to confirm if they are holding petunias of the following varieties which the Finnish authorities found to be GM:

  • Pegasus Orange
  • Pegasus Orange Morn
  • Pegasus Table Orange
  • Potunia Plua Papaya
  • Go!Tunia Orange
  • Bonnie Orange
  • African Sunset
  • Sanguna Patio Salmon
  • Sanguna Salmon
  • Electric Orange
  • Viva Orange
  • Viva Fire
  • Viva Orange Vein

Where stocks are being held APHA is following this up and, as necessary, will ensure that GM material is not being sold.  Similar action will be taken in Scotland and Northern Ireland.  In practice we understand that importers/producers have already moved to withdraw suspect material from the market.  We do not envisage that special measures are needed for the disposal of affected plants, given that they are not thought to be a risk.

At this stage it is not clear how GM material has got into the petunia supply chain in Europe.  There is no evidence to suggest GM plants have been introduced deliberately rather than inadvertently.  We are working with EU authorities to locate the source of the issue with a view to preventing further occurrences.

For further information, please contact DEFRA GM and Genetic Resources Team General: 0345 933 5577 Email: gm-regulation@defra.gsi.gov.uk

GM Petunia Notice for Garden centres

Customers may ask questions about GM (genetic modification) material in orange-flowered petunias. This follows reports in the press, referring to Finland and other EU member states.

Here are some facts for staff to help handle any queries:

The UK authorities have been alerted to this and they will decide what action to take;

The orange-coloured petunias pose no threat to people, animals or the environment;

The petunias are not frost-hardy and neither the plants or their seeds will survive in a British winter;

The orange-flowered GM petunias cannot spread into the wild in the UK countryside;

No other UK bedding or ornamental plants contain GM material, and special EU authorisation is required for any such developments;

GM petunias are not authorised for cultivation in the EU;

There is EU authorisation for some blue-flowered cut flower carnations but they are not authorised for cultivation in the EU.

Should the customer require more detailed information about GM and the law, please refer them to Defra: 0345 933 55 77, or gm-regulation@defra.gsi.gov.uk

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