1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
To develop international collaborative testing programs to evaluate 'HoneySweet' and other Plum pox virus resistant genetically engineered plums in expanded European field tests and to support international exchanges of information between project collaborators.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Collaborators in Europe will develop field trials of 'HoneySweet' and additional PPV resistant transgenic plum clones. These field trials will be developed in areas of high PPV infection pressure. Data on tree performance in terms of PPV infection, fruit quality and other agronomic characteristics will be recorded. Pollen flow will be monitored at sites where flowering is authorized. These data will be used to support EU regulators. A meeting of collaborators will be supported as one of the vehicles for the exchange of information on the project.
3. Progress Report
In collaboration with Czech Republic collaborators, a workshop titled, "Towards the EU Deregulation of 'HoneySweet', a Plum Pox Virus (PPV) Resistant Plum", was held in the Czech Republic on May 30-31, 2011. The goal of the workshop was the development of a dossier to be submitted to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for regulatory approval of 'HoneySweet' plum for food and feed, and cultivation in the EU. The expectation of the meeting was to establish the means for meeting this goal, specifically, how the group of researchers from the U.S., France, Spain, Romania, and Poland would assist the Czech group in developing the dossier to submit to the EFSA. The workshop was very successful. Attendees were committed and all volunteered to do their respective parts to provide information and other support to the Czech group. The message from a number of EU speakers was that the 'HoneySweet' submission presents a new paradigm for the EU. 'HoneySweet' represents a public institution development of a publicly available GMO product developed to solve a high profile agricultural problem affecting small growers and family farms in the EU. This paradigm could usher a shift in the attitude towards the acceptance of GMOs.