News FocusEcology

Words (and Axes) Fly Over Transgenic Trees

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Science  06 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5514, pp. 34-36
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5514.34

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The battle over genetically modified (GM) crops is being replayed as transgenic trees enter field trials. Forest biotechnologists are coming under fire not only from tree-chopping fringe activists but also from influential environmental groups, which claim that genetically engineered trees may wreak havoc on natural ecosystems and want a moratorium on their use. Hoping to avoid the brouhaha over GM foods, some researchers and companies are reaching out to their critics, while industry groups are launching a new think tank to debate and try to defuse societal issues before they explode.