While the public anxiously awaits the USDA’s final decision regarding the approval of the commercial release of ArborGen’s highly controversial GE eucalyptus trees, even the high profile GE tree professor Steve Strauss has his doubts. In an article released by the Washington Post, Strauss expresses his hesitation:

Steve Strauss, an expert on forest biotechnology at Oregon State University, said it was difficult to predict the trees’ environmental impact without having a better idea of the scale of plantings. Strauss runs a research consortium that ArborGen once belonged to, and the company has funded some of his research in the past, although the relationship has since ended.
“If I were USDA, I would probably make a decision to have a provisional deregulation,” he said, allowing some years to go — perhaps a decade — before conducting another evaluation.
The article notes that environmental groups, including Global Justice Ecology Project, submitted more than a quarter of a million individual comments, with just three comments in favor of approval.

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