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FSC Standards Interpretations


This section gives you access to current standard interpretations separated by topics and related normative documents.

FSC-POL-01-004 Policy on Association


Question

Does research on GMOs by FSC certificate holders or affiliated organizations constitute a breach of the FSC Policy on Association?

Normative Reference FSC-POL-01-004
Requirement(s) Clause 1.e
Published Monday, 11. July 2011
Answer

The FSC Policy on Association had its origins in the FSC Partial Certification Policy and is intended to prevent green washing by companies that are not committed to FSC certification. The Policy states that FSC shall not be associated with organizations that are directly or indirectly involved in the introduction of genetically modified organisms in forestry operations. Research, as defined in this document, does not constitute a breach to the FSC Policy on Association since the concept of operations is related to the standard commercial activities of an organization and as such does not include research efforts.

For the purpose of this clarification, research is understood as activities that:

  • have a clear investigative purpose (i.e. test a hypothesis),
  • are carried out on a limited scale and with defined timelines that are compatible to the scope of the research, 
  • are conducted following all related legal requirements, including safeguards and permits. 

Decision making process: The above interpretation was approved by the FSC Board of Directors at the 57th meeting.