|03 August 2005
THIRD WORLD NETWORK BIOSAFETY INFORMATION SERVICE
Dear friends and colleagues,
RE: UN Body Calls for Caution Over GM Trees
According to the report below, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has called for an international framework to assess the safety of GM trees before they are commercialised.
It warns against rushing to commercialise GM trees before conducting environmental risk assessments according to protocols agreed upon nationally and internationally.
GM trees are usually developed with the hope to improve the quantity and quality of wood they produce, and to give the trees resistance to insects, diseases and herbicides. However, planting GM trees also has its associated risks which include pathogens and insect pests developing resistance to the modified traits, and modified genes 'escaping' into other species.
This cautious call is timely given the increasing interest in developing GM trees for wide spread commercial purposes.
With best wishes,
Chee Yoke Heong
Third World Network
121-S Jalan Utama