In Summary

  • Imaginature LImited has applied for a licence to conduct open field trials for genetically modified Gypsophila flowers.

A commercial cut-flower developer has applied for a licence to conduct open field trials for genetically modified Gypsophila flowers, targeting the American market.

In the request to the National Biosafety Authority (NBA), Imaginature Ltd said they had improved the GM Gypsophila variety, enabling it to produce many colours that made it attractive and lucrative.

“We added a few genetic elements responsible for new colour range — from dark purple to red, to light pink — in flowers from a model plant called Arapidopsis,” said the notice to NBA.

Usually, Gypsophila flowers, also known as “Baby’s Breath”, are white. They are mainly ornamental and add a rich texture in floral arrangements and in-door bouquets.

The notice said Imaginature first conducted confined product development in conjunction with Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (Kephis) and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Karlo) under NBA’s supervision.

In the application, Imaginature said Kenya’s stature as a source of premium flowers would be elevated, enabling the country to earn higher revenues in foreign exchange.

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