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Environmental Benefits and Consequences of Genetic Engineering
Environmental benefits and consequences includes those related to industrial companies,
agriculture and animals. One of theindustries that have greatly impacted genetic engineering is
the timber industry. The timber industry has always been a key to the health of the economy in
North America, but many conservationists havebeen concerned about clear-cutting practices and
the huge reduction in forests the past century. Lumber companies have sometimes exhausted
their own natural resource. The solution of geneticallymodified (GM) trees looks so promising
to several large paper companies that they have joined together in an enterprise called the
ArboGen, a $60-million venture dedicated to developing transgenictrees for lumber. The
development could reduce the impact made by these interests on U.S. land use and forest.
Is genetic engineering among non-food plants such as trees a good idea? What are thepros and cons of biotech forestry? Pluses include that without biotechnology, we may never be
able to recover threatened species of trees and plants like for example, the chestnut tree. Other
treesand plants with the help of GM forests might well be improved or serve to help produce
beneficial products. Genetic engineering can also help reduce the cost and increase the strength
of paper bylowering the lignin levels on wood and increasing cellulose levels in wood. On the
other hand, everything has a bright and not so bright side. Negative effects with these new
implementations,include that environmentalists are concerned about contamination when seeds
travel outside the research area. This is a broad concern that applies to crops as well as trees, and
even some biotechanimals, such as fish, which could easily slip out of control.
Like selective breeding, agricultural biotechnology has been practiced for many years.
Agricultural biotechnology involves the transfer...
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