MetaFilter (metafilter) wrote,

Sorry but 'Sweetunia Orange Flash' petunias will no longer be available.

In 2015, a plant biologist noticed some bright orange petunias near a train station in Helsinki which in May 2017 caused the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [APHIS] to confirm that numerous varieties of petunias were not properly registered as being genetically engineered (GE).

Starting with the orange petunia, the USDA investigated different varieties available in the US and the list of GE petunias keeps increasing. In the US (pdf), UK, and EU, plant breeders, growers, and retailers of the various petunia varieties are being told to remove the plants from distribution and to destroy them. Although petunias are a perennial plant in warmer climates (hardiness zones 10 and 11), in most of Europe and the US they are treated as an annual.

Proposed reforms to U.S. biotechnology rules might have exempted these petunias from regulation and mass destruction.
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