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UN Convention Recognises GM Tree Threat

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) passed a formal declaration at its Eighth Conference of the Parties (COP-8) in Curitiba, Brazil on 31 March 2006 to recognize the threats posed by genetically modified (GM) (same as genetically engineered (GE)) trees, and urging all countries to approach the technology with caution. This important declaration came in support of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) call for an international framework to assess the safety of GM trees in 2005. Pierre Sigaud, FAO expert in forest genetics, warned against rushing to commercialise GM trees before conducting environmental risk assessments in accordance with national and international biosafety protocols. Concerns about contamination from GM pollen and seed drift, and the impact on local/indigenous communities are shared by many forestry experts and civil society organisations around the world, such as the World Rainforest Movement, the Union of Ecoforesty, the Global Justice Ecology Project, Via Campesina, the Independent Science Panel (see “Save our Forests” series SIS 26) and the International Forum on Biodiversity.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes





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