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LISTENING STUDY Question 71:
What percentage of domestic pulp is from genetically engineered trees?

The first genetically modified trees were produced in 1987, and by 1998 there had been at least 116 confirmed GM tree trials around the world. - Fast-Wood Plantations

Thus far, no applications for unrestricted, commercial use of genetically engineered (GE) trees have yet been filed for forestry. But some GE trees are already quite advanced-for instance, herbicide-tolerant poplar-and the first commercial planting of a GE tree could take place as early as 2002-2003. - Greenpeace International 2000

At the present time, there are no commercial plantations of genetically engineered trees in the U.S. or Canada. In Canada, only four experimental plots have been established since 1997. Three were established by the Canadian Forest Service, one by the private company Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries. Canadian Forest Service officials expect GE trees to be planted commercially within 5 - 10 years. In the U.S., there are a few hundred experimental plots. Regulators at the USDA expect no requests for approval of commercial plantations for at least four years. Once an application is received, the agency review and public comment periods would probably consume several more years before any approval could be granted. - Campbell 2000

This information is not presently available. - Stora Enso

Growing plants in greenhouses prevents spread of the genetic material, while field trails "release" the plants in open plantings. Between 1988 and 1998 there were at least 116 releases of Genetically Engineered trees, with nearly half occurring in 1998. Most of these are species used by the pulp and paper industry, and the majority of these releases have been in the United States. - Native Forest Network 2000

Bioengineered Trees Stir Debate - Sierra Club, Fearful of Projects Going Awry, Seeks Moratorum:
Scientists are planting genetically engineered trees in dozens of research projects across the country. . . . Papayas are the only approved engineered tree for market. The rest are still experimental.
     About 230 notices of genetically engineered tree experiments have been filed with the United States Department of Agriculture since 1989, with about half coming since 2000. . . . Poplar, eucalyptus, apple and coffee trees are among those being engineered. . . . These experimental tree plots are much smaller in scale than the 100 million acres of genetically modified food crops planted last year.
     Except for the Hawaiian papaya, no genetically modified tree is expected to be commercialized for the next five to ten years. Trees grow much slower than crops, and genetic researchers need years to compare and contrast generations.
     . . . Many field trials are backed by paper and timber concerns hoping to design trees that yield more wood and paper. ArborGen LLC, a North Charleston, SC-based biotechnology company, said it has 50 separate field trials under way. . . . ArborGen, launched in 2000 with $60 million from International Paper, MedWestvaco Corp. and two New Zealand companies, has grown from five employees to 53.
     . . . Forestry researchers are proud of their work, but have learned to be circumspect about disclosing where their genetically engineered trees are growing. In June, three protesters were arrested after chaining themselves inside a UC Davis science building to protest tree research. Two years ago, the Earth Liberation Front claimed responsibility for arsons at the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle and Jefferson Poplar Farms in Clatskanie, Ore., that together caused more than $3.5 million in damage. . . . - Paul Elias, Associated Press, reported in the Marin Independent Journal, Business section, August 1, 2003


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