Genetically Modified Organisms
Last Review/Updated: Dec. 10, 2001
Alberta Forest Genetic Resources Council – Position Paper
Position Paper – Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)
Alberta Forest Genetic Resources Council
GMO, or genetically modified organism, refers to an organism that, through human intervention in a laboratory, has had its genome, or genetic code, deliberately altered through the mechanical insertion of a specific identified sequence of genetic coding material (generally DNA) that has been either manufactured or physically excised from the genome of another organism. Genetic modification may be used to alter any of a wide range of traits, including insect and disease resistance, herbicide tolerance, tissue composition, and growth rate.
No GMO trees have been planted in operational forest plantations on Crown lands in Alberta.
Council Position on GMO Trees
- Council Recognizes the theoretical potential of GMO trees in reforestation;
- Council recognizes that performance of GMOs and their impact on forest ecosystems are poorly understood;
- Therefore, in view of the potential risks currently associated with reforestation with GMO trees, the Council does not recommend use of GMOs for reforestation at this time;
- Council recognizes that research is ongoing and will improve our understanding of the performance and impact of GMOs;
- Council will review its recommendation periodically.