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Scion to trial GM trees in New Zealand

The New Zealand Forest Research Institute (trading as Scion) has confirmed that it is to apply to the Environmental Risk Management Authority for permission to conduct field trials of genetically modified radiata pines. The trees have been engineered for faster growth rates, increased wood density and stability and improved use of woody biomass. According to local newspaper the Otago Daily Times, the trials would involve up to 4,000 trees. In 2007, Scion agreed a research collaboration with US biotechnology forestry company ArborGen (Summerville, South Carolina) focusing on gene discovery and molecular breeding for forest trees.

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