Philippines May Turn to GM Trees to Save its Forests
The Philippines may soon plant genetically modified trees to save the country’s remaining forests and meet the local timber, pulp and paper demands, said biotechnology experts from the Department of Agriculture. Addressing scientists, representatives of the government and biosafety policy and regulatory bodies during the seminar on forest biotechnology, the experts urged the government to be prepared for the introduction of disease resistant GM trees to Philippine forests.
The experts debunked the present fears with GM trees, saying that forest modification is safe based on studies conducted elsewhere. GM trees, for reforestation purposes, are currently being developed in countries like the US and Australia. The Forest Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) welcomes the use of GM trees, as it may hold the solution for the country to meet its increasing timber requirements.
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This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)