A young research plantation with rDNA-modified poplars in the USA

rDNA-modified insect resistant spruce in Canada

rDNA-modified poplars in Canada

Breeding with rDNA blight-resistant chestnut in the USA

Flowering-modified rDNA poplars in the USA

Insect resistant rDNA poplar in China

Drone image of an rDNA-modified poplar plantation in the USA

rDNA-modified poplars with improved wood quality in France

rDNA flowering-modified sweetgum in the USA

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The goal of this petition is to urge forest certification systems to better align their certification criteria with scientific findings in biotechnology.

Rationale in brief: Field research is essential for scientific studies and responsible use of all types of forest biotechnologies. There is a strong and international consensus that the novelty of modification, not the method of modification, is what is germane to scientific assessments of benefit and safety. Current certification criteria from some of the most dominant certification systems, by prohibiting any field research with biotech trees (modified with recombinant-DNA methods, often called genetically engineered, GMO or gene-edited), materially impede research and development, and promote a system that is at odds with recommendations of the major scientific societies. These exclusionary criteria also run counter to findings from several decades of field research that show health, stability, and likelihood of economic and/or environmental benefits from many types of biotech trees.