By Anne Petermann
In this confused little piece from our friends at European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), GE tree researchers in the EU arguing for more lax regulations on GE trees also seem to imply that more stringent requirements are needed.
The article point outs, for example, that “trees have a huge number of interactions with their environment, so an enormous amount of data needs to be collected to draw up a risk analysis. Trees also have a long growth cycle , so study of the long-term consequences through field tests takes a very long time.”
GE tree proponent Wout Boerjan (whom I have personally witnessed twice wishing severe physical harm on anti-GE activists) adds, “it’s also difficult to predict exactly how detailed the risk analyses need to be. This all means that the risk-analysis process for GM trees in Europe demands a huge amount of time and money.”
This all seems to imply that the risk assessment process needs to be more rigorous and over a much longer period, but the article wraps up with a different conclusion.
Another GE tree proponent Rene Custers takes all of this information about the complicated risk assessments with trees to conclude that “there is no reason to assume trees would be different [than GMO crops].” So therefore, time to streamline the process and speed it up so that Europe can catch up to China, as well as North and South America.
I challenge you to follow that logic!