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Plantation Certification and Genetic Engineering: FSC's Ban on Research Is Counterproductive

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Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification (GM), is the isolation, recombinant modification, and asexual transfer of genes. It has been banned in forest plantations certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) regardless of the source of genes, traits imparted, or whether for research or commercial use. We review the methods and goals of tree genetic engineering research and argue that FSC's ban on research is counterproductive because it makes it difficult for certified companies to participate in the field research needed to assess the value and biosafety of GM trees. Genetic modification could be important for translating new discoveries about tree genomes into improved growth, quality, sustainability, and pest resistance.

Keywords: biotechnology; entomology and pathology; environmental management; ethics; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; genetics; natural resource management; natural resources; silviculture

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Professor Department of Forest Science, Oregon State University, Richardson Hall, Corvallis, OR, 97331-5752, 2: Lecturers Department of Plant Sciences, Oxford Forestry Institute, Oxford, UK 3: Associate Professional Officer UK Department for International Development, ParĂ¡, Brazil 4: Director Department of Plant Sciences, Oxford Forestry Institute, Oxford, UK

Publication date: 2001-12-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 39.6 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

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