From time to time the EPA is made aware of the deliberate release of genetically modified organisms. The following notices are published to provide information to the public.
During 2017 several varieties of unauthorised GM petunia were found on the ornamental plants market in Ireland. Despite the fact that these unauthorised GM petunia varieties presented no or negligible risk to human or animal health or the environment, they had to be withdrawn from the Irish market and destroyed because they were unauthorised. In an effort to raise awareness in advance of the 2018 marketing season, the Agency wrote to the ornamental plant sector advising them to be vigilant, to ensure that plant varieties being imported were not genetically modified and where necessary to seek confirmation of the plants non-GM status in writing.
Article 4(5) of Directive 2001/18/EC (on the deliberate release into the environment of GMOs and repealing Council Directive 90/220/EEC) requires that 'In the event of a release of GMO(s) or placing on the market as or in products for which no authorisation was given the Member State concerned shall ensure that necessary measures are taken to terminate the release or placing on the market to initiate remedial action if necessary and to inform its public, the Commission and other Member States'.
The Agency has been notified of a positive GM test result on a consignment of oilseed rape (OSR) seed imported into Ireland for production of a commercial OSR crop. The OSR seed was sampled and analysed in advance of planting and trace amounts (<0.1%) of a GM element 'CP4 EPSPS' was found to be present. This GM element is unauthroised for cultivation in the EU. None of the OSR seed from this consignment was planted in Ireland. The consignment will be returned to the country of origin and the appropriate authorities have been notified.
The Agency has been alerted to the unauthorised sale of GM zebrafish in Denmark. The import and trade of GM zebrafish into the EU and the Republic of Ireland is illegal. If any importer, wholesaler or retailer of ornamental fish becomes suspicious and believes that the ornamental fish advertised/offered for sale might be GM, we request that he/she brings it to the attention of the EPA for further investigation.