Movimiento Mundial por los Bosques Tropicales

Finland – WRM information sheet on GE tree research

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WRM information sheets on GE tree research

First posted: 1 August 2008
Last update: August 2014

Tree species being manipulated:

  • hybrid aspen (Populus)
  • silver birch (Betula pendula)

Aim of genetic manipulation

  • flowerless trees (silver birch)
  • fixation of carbon dioxide
  • wood formation and stomatal regulation

Those carrying out the research:

  • Finnish Forest Research Institute
  • Research Programme on Environmental, Societal and Health Effects of Genetically Modified Organisms (ESGEMO)
  • Joensuu University
  • Helsinki University
  • Eastern Finland University

Those who provide support to research:

Regulatory framework for research and field trials:

  • field trials monitored by the Finnish Board of Gene Technology

Field trial:

  • Non-flowering silver birch 1000m2 trial of the University of Joensuu at Joensuu. Proposed period of release:12/06/2005 to 31/10/2008.
  • The Helsinki University received approval for a field trial of about 2,000 m2 for the period 2013-2018 about the wood formation and stomatal regulation in GE hybrid aspen; it will start in 2014

Organizations opposing GE trees:

  • Three Finnish environmental NGOs (the Union of Ecoforestry, the People´s Biosafety Association, and Friends of the Earth Finland) launched an international campaign against GE trees in 2004.

Actions by unidentified actors:

  • A field trial belonging to the Finnish Forest Research Institute with Silver birch was destroyed June 18-21, 2004. The trial destroyed was located on the northern side of the Savonlinna-Punkaharju road. All of the nearly 400 seedlings planted in the fenced and locked site of 2000 square meters were broken off or ripped from the ground.