Biotech Fears Should Not Overcome Potential Benefits

Biotech Benefits Extend Way Beyond Food Crops, Say NCPA Experts

DALLAS  - While biotech foods benefit the environment and human health, other genetically modified species could be a boon as well, according to new research paper, Biotech Forests: An Environmental Blessing?, from the National Center for Policy Analysis' (NCPA) E-Team project.

"Baseless fears built on nightmare speculation that has never been proven about biotech food crops should not be allowed to delay the planting and growth of genetically modified trees once they are ready for commercial introduction," said NCPA Senior Fellow H. Sterling Burnett.  "These trees have the potential to improve forest health, to reduce our demand on virgin forest timber products and to help the economy."

Genetically modified trees have the potential to better resist pathogens and destructive pests, produce higher yields of cellulose for renewable fuels, and remove carbon dioxide from the air more efficiently than unmodified trees.  In addition, modified trees grow faster and larger, allowing paper and timber companies to harvest more product from the same amount of trees.

"When these trees prove out," said NCPA research analyst Wesley Dwyer, coauthor of the report, "both our pocketbooks and the environment will be winners."