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Crop Biotech Update

Australia Approves GM Blue Rose

June 26, 2009

Florigene Pty Ltd has received approval from Australia's Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) for the commercial release of a genetically modified (GM) hybrid tea rose variety. The GM rose, which sports blue flowers, expresses the flavonoid 3'5'-hydroxylase gene from Viola and the anthocyanin 5-acyltransferase gene from Torenia for altered flower color. These genes cause the production of delphinidin, a blue pigment found in a range of edible plants including blueberries and blackcurrants. The GM rose was created by Florigene and Japan-based Suntory Company after 12 years of joint research.

Parent plants and plants for cut‑flowers will be grown by commercial growers registered with Florigene. Flowers that are produced will be sold through normal commercial distribution channels to the public, Australia‑wide. The risk assessment paper prepared by OGTR concluded that the commercial release poses negligible risk to human health and environment safety.

For more information, read the Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan prepared by OGTR at http://www.ogtr.gov.au/internet/ogtr/publishing.nsf/Content/dir090-4/$FILE/dir090rarmp.doc