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Crop Biotech Update

Forest Biotechnologists Call for Review of Restrictive Policies Regarding Biotech Research

January 23, 2019

A committee of accomplished forest biotechnologists from around the world are asking for support to a petition aimed to change certification rules for forests to enable field research on biotech (gene-edited, genetically engineered) trees. Amazingly, all of the private certification systems have a complete ban in place that extends to research, at a time when forest health is in growing crisis due to expanding pests and climate change.

The committee understands that biotech is not a panacea, but it is also too powerful to ignore—and can sometimes provide powerful solutions where other approaches fail. The petition follows on the release of a major report on The Potential for Biotechnology to Address Forest Health from the USA National Academy of Sciences that has identified biotechnologies as key tools for helping to manage forest health and associated pest epidemics.

The American Society of Plant Biologists has studied and endorsed the petition. For more details about the petition and how to sign, visit the petition site.