02222018

GM trees ‘strangled’ by red tape

forest fire

Fire is one of the growing threats to trees that scientists blame on climate change

US researchers say it has become “virtually impossible” to plant genetically modified trees in any part of the world.

They argue that the GM trees are desperately needed to deal with an upsurge in forest diseases and pests.

What they term “misguided” concerns about genetic engineering have slowed progress to a crawl.

But environmental campaigners say the technology is risky and the long-term safety unproven.

Genetically modified trees were developed in the 1980s amid hopes that the technology could tackle persistent problems such as pest infestations.

It was also hoped that new fast-growing strains would be developed that would be attractive for commercial companies.

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