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GM pine tree research is important for the future


GM pine tree research is important for the future

NZBIO media release
9 November 2010 – Embargoed until 4.00pm

NZBIO supported Scions application to ERMA to field test genetically modified pine trees this week.

This application to test genetically modified Pinus radiata is part of Scion’s ongoing work to scientifically assess the commercial potential of new technologies for forestry.

“Approving the application would allow one of New Zealand’s most innovative research institutions to continue their world class research to develop trees that grow more quickly, produce improved wood and can be used for innovative new renewable products including biofuels, biochemicals and bioplastics,” says Bronwyn Dilley, Chief Executive of NZBIO.

There are major economic, social and cultural advantages to New Zealand for allowing this research to proceed. The work will benefit rural communities and contribute to New Zealand’s economic prosperity, along with providing solutions to future global energy demands and reducing green house gas emissions.

“We have already burdened future generations with the issues of climate change and limited resources. We have no right to handcuff future generations and disadvantage them even further by choosing to prevent the development of potential solutions to the problems we currently face.”

“Trees can be grown on marginal land providing biofuel feed stock to meet future world energy demands without competing with food production.”

The Scion field tests are subject to strict controls. The research will be conducted in containment at Scion’s secure site in Rotorua.

New Zealand’s regulatory environment provides certainty in the safety and quality of any new products. Future consumers of these wood derived products can be assured that the research will have been done within one of the world’s most respected and robust regulatory regimes.

“NZBIO endorses the view of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification that New Zealand must proceed with caution in this type of research. We are very confident if approved this research will be conducted under the close watch of New Zealand’s extremely robust regulatory system.”

ENDS

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