Unauthorized Genetically Engineered Petunias

Unauthorized Genetically Engineered Petunias

On May 16, 2017, APHIS announced that several varieties of genetically engineered (GE) petunias had been imported into the United States and distributed interstate without proper APHIS authorization. Petunias are annual, ornamental plants that have no sexually compatible wild relatives in the United States, are not plant pests and are not listed as noxious weeds.

APHIS is transitioning its operations regarding GE petunia into a long-term monitoring and maintenance operation. APHIS BRS will continue to coordinate with APHIS-Plant Protection and Quarantine and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to monitor imports of petunias and ensure GE petunias are not imported without appropriate authorization. BRS will also continue to coordinate with petunia breeders and growers as necessary as they continue to work to identify and remove GE petunias from commerce.

Following APHIS’ announcement and decision to not require destruction of GE petunias that had entered the commercial stream, the petunia industry sought guidance from APHIS on a number of topics. These topics included appropriate destruction methods of GE petunias, laboratory testing to identify GE petunias, and methods to facilitate the importation of non-GE petunias. The petunia industry has voluntarily removed GE petunias from commerce, destroying at their discretion. In addition, the industry is proactively testing varieties to ensure additional unauthorized GE petunias are not imported into the United States or distributed interstate without proper authorization.  

Please refer to the documents below for the most recent information on genetically engineered petunias, including the petunia varieties determined to be genetically engineered.

View the May 16, 2017 Announcement Explaining Unauthorized Release of GE Petunias

View APHIS Guidance to Industry Regarding the Destruction of Potential GE Petunias

View APHIS Instructions to Facilitate the Importation of Non-GE Petunia Varieties

View Guidance for the Testing of GE Petunias

View Guidance for Use of Third-Party Labs for Testing GE Petunia Varieties

View List of GE Petunia Varieties Requiring Import Authorization, APHIS Form 2000

These documents will be updated as needed. Please check back for updates.  These documents were last updated on August 4, 2017.
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