Forest biotech scientists lobby against GMO tree ban to promote sustainable forestry

sun shining through tall trees in forest

A group of leading forest biotechnology scientists from around the world call for the reassessment of all sustainable forestry certification systems and suggest that current policies should be modified to promote forest resilience and sustainability. The authors of the recent editorial published on 23 August in Science argue that the existing ban on genetically modified (GM) trees hinders research efforts. Therefore, the researchers have garnered support from more than 1000 signatories of a petition.

Related article:  Amid growing tensions with US, China poised to accelerate GMO crop imports, boost trade with Brazil

Genetically engineered or gene-edited trees are consistently excluded from certified lands, including those for field research. But are essential for understanding local benefits and impacts, the authors write. Furthermore, the ban only adds more fuel to widespread skepticism of GM products, creating a perception that technologies like gene editing are “bad”. When instead, they could be used as one more tool against the ever-increasing struggle against climate change. And could help farmers and planters grown trees in a more economical and sustainable way.

Read full, original article: Sustainable forestry organisations should lift ban on GM trees, scientists say

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