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GMO Flowers Marketing and Safety


Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are organisms whose genetic components have undergone modifications in a lab to improve certain preferred traits. For many decades, the practice has been there and has had its main application in crop farming, livestock production, and pet breeding. In some GMO practices, genome modification involves combining genes from species that are not related to obtaining the desired physiological traits. GMO products have become standard worldwide, especially in medicine, agriculture, environmental management, and research. However, though some GMO products are enormously beneficial to humans, some have indicated controversial factors, especially their safety when consumed (Raman, 2018).

Flowers are the reproductive parts of plants, characterized by their strong scents and bright colors that make them conspicuous. The physical and chemical composition of flowers has made them essential in human life. The brightly colored flowers are used to make beauty products on a temporary basis or permanently by planting flowering plants in desired areas. The chemical composition of flowers has made them essential in the production of medicine, special chemical products, and food. Most edible flowers have a spicy-sweet flavor, making them helpful in producing spices and salad preparation. Most common edible flowers include honeysuckle, marigolds, alliums, scarlet runner beans, nasturtiums, etc (Huss et al., 2018).

Like any other agricultural product, Flowers have not been spared by GMO technology. A significant number of flowering plants have undergone modifications to yield genetically modified flowers. The most targeted traits by this technology are the flower shape, fragrance, color, and plant architecture. The main reason behind the genetic modification of flowering plants is to enhance disease resistance and stress tolerance, increase longevity, induce early flowering, and improve floral morphology and anatomy. Nevertheless, though the end products possess customers’ preferred tastes, most consumers are reluctant to use GMO flowers and their products due to the controversy associated with the safety of GMOs (Raman, 2018).

Literature review

According to Boutigny et al. (2020), some modified species, petunia and chrysanthemum, have indicated a great risk on the use of GMO flowers. These two species were released into the market without proper testing and certification, yet the supplier did not indicate the nature of the product to the consumers. Thorough analysis later revealed that the species were not safe for use by humans since they posed a significant risk to the health status of humans. Boutigny et al. (2020) appreciate the need to indicate the nature of GMO flowers and their products to the consumers since their use can have considerable environmental and health risks. The author also notes that since this technology was invented and put to practice, most engineers focus only on producing the desired product while ignoring essential safety tests.

According to Hirschi (2020), GMO flowers might be safe though some effects are indirect and might take many years to be detected. Since the GMO flowers were released into the market, no fatal health risk has been associated with their consumption of general use. Considerably, a lot of resources and effort has been invested in testing the safety of GMO flowers, though most of the tests focus on short-term implications. According to the publication, single-use GMO flowers may not be adequate to conclude that these products are safe. However, consistent use of these products provides a perfect ground for them to express their health potential in the human body. However, some GMO flower products such as Roundup herbicide have been proven to cause cancer upon contact with the body. Currently, California’s producer company faces thousands of lawsuits due to ailments associated with the product (Hirschi, 2020).

According to Delaney et al. (2018), some scientists have raised concerns on the possibility of these modified DNA structures being absorbed into the genome of the consumer. Though the probability of such a scenario is relatively low, it is still a concern, especially when raw GMO flowers are consistently ingested over a long period. Further, the author notes the possibility of GMO flowers causing allergenic reactions with the body, especially with existing allergies. One of the highest risks that GMOs have indicated in human health is acute allergic conditions and the development of new allergies. The newly expressed genome has a capacity to induce receptor sensitization resulting in a new allergic condition with an altered level of expression, new to existing medical interventions.

Marketing GMO flowers

Currently, the world cannot afford to disregard the use of GMOs since the technology has gained momentum and proved beneficial. Genetically engineered direct and processed products are everywhere in the market, providing some of the basic human needs, including food. Following the controversial topic regarding the safety of GMO flowers, most regulatory authorities require producers, retailers, and suppliers to indicate the nature of the products. Though this has a significant impact on the sales of the products, the practice should be legalized and implemented. Indicating the ingredients of every product was meant to help the consumers and regulators assess the product’s nutritional facts. Similarly, GMO flowers have varying chemical components compared to natural flowers, thus requiring affirmation of consumers (Yeh et al., 2019).

GMO flowers health and environmental safety

Nature has its way of controlling possible risks on living creatures. Human, plant, and animal bodies are well adapted to nature and its constituents by the development of various mechanisms to interact with different components in a safe manner. However, modifying the gene structure of plants to give a desired floral product can induce heavy shock on humans, animals, and the environment at large. This is because the body lacks an elaborate mechanism to relate with the new species ingested or contacted. As a result, simple GMO flowers and their processed products may seem or be labeled healthy, yet they are toxic for human consumption or contact. Possible complications from these flowers include cancer growth, immunity suppression, allergic reactions, and loss of nutritional value (Delaney et al., 2018).

The environment is the most affected by GMO products. Although much emphasis is put on the regulation of GMO flowers use by human beings, less focus is given to the regulation of GMO flowers and their products on the environment. One of the main concerns is the emergency of herbicide-resistant weeds since the new species has different features compared to the natural species, leading to overgrowth even when not desired. Further, GMO flowers are used to make products such as herbicides, beauty products, and air purifiers. These products, when overused, can have strange effects on the natural environment leading to catastrophic environmental change that might be difficult to remediate. These are some of the main reasons people dislike, hate, and fear GMO flowers’ foods and other products (Delaney et al., 2018).


From the discussion above, it is clear that GMO flowers pose a significant threat to health and environmental safety. Many complications have been developed from continuous use of these flowers, and the likelihood of new complex issues development is high. Therefore, scientists and standard regulators should focus on improving the present GMO flowers by testing their long and short-term implications and making recommendations. Health and environmental organizations should embark on teaching the public about the risks of using GMO flowers’ foods and other products. Further, scientists should look for other alternatives to genetic engineering since GMO products have an infinite level of reaction with natural compounds, most of which are fatal. In addition, strict laws should be made requiring producers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to indicate GMO flowers and their products as such to allow consumers to make rational decisions and avoid complications.


Boutigny, A.-L., Dohin, N., Pornin, D., & Rolland, M. (2020). Overview and detectability of the genetic modifications in ornamental plants. Horticulture Research7(1), 1–12.

Delaney, B., Goodman, R. E., & Ladics, G. S. (2018). Food and Feed Safety of Genetically Engineered Food Crops. Toxicological Sciences162(2), 361–371.

Hirschi, K. D. (2020). Genetically Modified Plants: Nutritious, Sustainable, yet Underrated. The Journal of Nutrition150(10), 2628–2634.

Huss, E., Yosef, K. B., & Zaccai, M. (2018). Humans’ Relationship to Flowers as an Example of the Multiple Components of Embodied Aesthetics. Behavioral Sciences8(3).

Huss, E., Yosef, K. B., & Zaccai, M. (2018). Humans’ Relationship to Flowers as an Example of the Multiple Components of Embodied Aesthetics. Behavioral Sciences8(3).

Raman, R. (2018). The impact of Genetically Modified (GM) crops in modern agriculture: A review. GM Crops & Food.


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