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A modest program


January 1, 2001
By Pulp & Paper Canada

The federal government in Canada plays a much more central role in the development of genetic engineering technology for trees than its counterpart in the United States.For example, the government has…

The federal government in Canada plays a much more central role in the development of genetic engineering technology for trees than its counterpart in the United States.

For example, the government has an initiative, Canadian Biotechnology Strategy, to conduct research in the area. It gave the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) $3.6-million for biotechnology research for the 2000-2001 fiscal year. (No private venture on GM trees is currently operating.)

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CFS’s Laurentian Forestry Centre in Sainte Foy, QC, established the country’s first GM tree test plot (900-m2) for poplar (Populus alba x grandidenttata) in Valcartier near Quebec City in 1997. It is testing selector and marker genes. The researchers at Laurentian have gone on to plant three other test plots — for spruce — in the summer of 2000. Some of the trees contain a gene to produce the pesticide Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis).


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