US flower sellers forced to destroy 9 varieties of petunias after tests show they’re genetically modified

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced [May 16] that U.S. flower distributors have begun to destroy countless petunia plants after federal scientists confirmed that they were genetically engineered (GE) to produce vivid orange, red, and purple blooms. The agency says the flowers pose no risk to the environment or to human health, but GE organisms need special permits to be sold in the United States.

Distributors apparently imported or bred the flowers without realizing the plants had been GE.

Testing continues, but USDA says it has already confirmed nine unwelcome varieties. They are: 

  1. African Sunset (the petunia initially identified as GE)
  2. Trilogy Mango
  3. Trilogy Deep Purple
  4. Trilogy Red
  5. Trilogy ’76 Mix-Liberty Mix
  6. Fortunia Early Orange
  7. Hells Bells Improved
  8. Petunia Salmon Ray
  9. Sweetunia Orange Flash

The agency says that “consumers who may have purchased GE petunias need take no action,” and that petunias also “have no sexually compatible wild relatives in the United States, are not plant pests and are not listed as noxious weeds.” The flowers originally came from Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, South America, and Australia.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: U.S. flower sellers rush to destroy illegal GE petunias

  • Kevin Patti

    Yay, irrational-fear-driven policies!

  • The Mgt.

    What is exactly the scientific evidence that these are genetically modified? I cant find it anywhere.

    • Kevin Patti

      From what I’ve been able to glean over a handful of different articles, these were originally an in-house project that was abandoned, and these petunias share the genetic marker that was used in those.
      I don’t have the details, though, and I’m not 100% certain in that.

      • The Mgt.

        well, it was now shown that the plants have 35S promoters and nos. Obviously engineered plants. I am very curious if they will hunt the “bad guys” down or if this will just disappear from the headlines.

        • Kevin Patti

          My guess will be the latter, except on EcoWatch and other Anti websites.