The advantages and disadvantages of the application of genetically modified trees


an article regarding pros and cons of genetically modified trees by:

Oxford Forestry Institute, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3RB, England.


This review briefly examines moral arguments for and against genetic engineering (GE) technology
in trees, finding equal support for both sides of the debate. Subsequently, environmental costs and
benefits are reviewed. Due to the complexity of tree–environment interactions, clear-cut answers are
not forthcoming. However, some environmental risks are deemed to be potentially serious; the
nature of such risks and possibilities for their containment are described. Assessment of such risks
should be undertaken by interdisciplinary teams including ecologists and microbiologists, with the
onus being on biotechnological scientists to prove, to the satisfaction of consumers, that the
technology they produce is safe. A well-functioning regulatory mechanism is necessary if benefits of
GE technology are to be maximized while keeping to a minimum any associated risks.


Download the full article in pdf

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