EU regulations impede introduction of GMO trees in Europe

| February 29, 2016
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Just like other crops, trees can also be genetically modified in order to introduce new, useful characteristics. Although such trees offer many socio-economic and environmental benefits, complex and unpredictable EU procedures are hindering their introduction to the market. This is the conclusion reached by researchers in a joint text drawn up as part of a European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) project about genetically modified trees. The researchers state that Europe is lagging behind in worldwide GM developments and call for a more scientifically substantiated decision process. René Custers, Regulatory & Responsible Research Manager at VIB and Prof. Wout Boerjan (VIB/UGent) contributed to the text.

Genetically modified trees can be used as an efficient raw material for renewable products or bioenergy, which could in turn promote the transition to a sustainable, CO2-neutral economy. However, Europe imposes a comprehensive risk assessment and authorization procedure on the development and use of genetically modified crops.

. . . .
Trees have a huge number of interactions with their environment, so an enormous amount of data needs to be collected to draw up a risk analysis. Trees also have a long growth cycle, so study of the long-term consequences through field tests takes a very long time.

. . . .

. . . .After the risk analysis and a scientific conclusion from EFSA, it is still by no means certain that a European approval will follow. The fact that individual EU Member States can restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs on their territory. . . further increases this uncertainty.

. . . .

Genetically modified poplars are already being planted in China and it looks like the green light will also be given in North and South America.

Read full, original post: EU decision process hinders use of genetically modified trees

Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend