“Forest crop”? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Why would anyone would think it a good idea to insert foreign genes into trees, then set them loose in the environment where they are assured of contaminating native wild trees?
According to Terra Daily, this seemingly innocuous experiment required inserting several genes and affecting 29 genetic traits. Mutations anyone? You cannot, as has been extensively demonstrated in tests, stick DNA full of foreign genes without causing mutations–the impacts of which cannot be anticipated. Is it really worth the risk for “ornamental douglas fir trees.” Or for any profit-motivated objective?
There is hope, however. As researcher and GE tree proponent Steve Strauss points out below, “The main limitation is the onerous regulatory structure for genetically-modified plants in the United States. [GE] trees are unlikely to be able to bear the high costs and red tape inherent to obtaining regulatory approval.” Strauss is also not taking into consideration the popular resistance we’re mobilizing against these efforts.