GMO COMPASS - Information on genetically modified organisms
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Research herbicide tolerance
Field trials USA 17
New Zealand
Approval none
Perspectives No immediate commercial use of GM-onions is expected.



Onions are grown worldwide in regions with moderate to subtropical climates. The leading producers are Mexico, Korea, China and Japan. In Europe, onions are mainly cultivated in France, Spain, and Greece. Onions are one of the most widely grown types of vegetable.



Onion (Allium cepa) can be used in many ways as a condiment and edible plant:

  • raw or fried
  • as condiment/flavouring


Gene technology: aims of research and development

Agronomic traits

Weed control

Resistance against pathogens

Resistance to pests

Quality traits

Modified composition of components

  • Such as modified acidity, modified sulfur content, modified sugar content, modified colours (modified anthocyanin content)

  • Increased absorption and accumulation of selenium. This essential dietary mineral can prevent cancer.

Plant development

  • Inducible time of flowering

  • Delayed maturity


Field trials with GM onions

USA 17
Period 1996-2010
Traits herbicide tolerance, fungal resistance
other countries New Zealand


 GMO Database
GM Food and Feed: Authorization in the EU
GMO Database: Contains information on every GM plant that has been approved or is awaiting authorisation in the EU.
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