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Forest Scientist Views of Regulatory Obstacles to Research and Development of Transgenic Forest Biotechnology

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Despite many dozens of research projects, hundreds of field trials, and a long commercialized fruit tree, virus-resistant papaya, there continues to be very little public or private sector activity in the United States that is directed toward development of transgenic forest trees. We therefore undertook a survey of scientists knowledgeable in forest biotechnologies, breeding, ecology, and regulation to assess if they believed that the regulatory regime in the United States presents a significant obstacle to research or commercial development. Conducted in 2007, there were a total of 90 respondents (60% response rate) from throughout the United States. The large majority believed that regulations, in particular containment requirements during field evaluation, posed significant obstacles to development. Top priorities for research included development of gene containment methods and field studies of wood and abiotic stress modification. Priorities for regulatory reform included development of a tiered system and provisional authorizations to enable long-term field research.
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Keywords: genetic engineering; genetic modification; genomics; survey; tree biotechnology

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-10-01

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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.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.675 (Rank 20/64 in forestry)

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

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