What could possibly go wrong?
On approximately 120 hectares across seven U.S. states from Florida to Texas, researchers will plant more than 200,000 GM eucalyptus trees. Developed by the ArborGen Company, the fast-growing trees are intended eventually to provide the raw materials for pulp, paper and bio-fuels and to minimise thereby the industrial use of forest land.
Field trials now should determine their suitability for the entire southern ‘timber belt’ of the USA: cold-sensitive, conventional eucalyptus varieties normally are confined to the state of Florida. However, the trials are controversial. Although site approvals had been issued previously, the new USDA permits allow flowering on all but one of the sites in question, as well as a greater density of trees.