Scion’s upcoming field trial application to ERMA

12 July 2010

Scion is currently in the process of submitting an application to the Environmental Risk Management Authority for a new field trial of genetically modified Pinus radiata (radiata pine) trees in outdoor containment.

The purpose of Scion’s upcoming application to ERMA is to test genes influencing a range of traits that if successful in the trial may be used in the future to produce improved pine trees for the forestry sector.

The trial aims to develop trees that will improve the quality and productivity of forest plantations, which will keep New Zealand’s forestry sector internationally competitive. Of direct benefit to the forestry industry are traits for increased wood density and stability, improved use of woody biomass, and improved tree growth.

Scion is not building a new field trial site in advance of its application to ERMA as alleged by the Soil & Health Association of NZ.

Photographs circulated by Soil & Health today show ground works that cleared up a huge pile of waste in readiness for a new campus mowing contract that is about to be let. The waste came from an extensive scrub clearing operation in Scion’s tree archive area, which is accessed and enjoyed by members of the public as a dog exercise area. The photographs show an area of about 60 square meters that has now been sown in grass.