Imagine a future where our forests resemble a Sci-Fi horror movie – a harsh landscape empty of biological diversity, overgrown with frankentrees planted only to produce resources for a polluting energy industry. If ArborGen, with the help of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), has their way, that dismal nightmare could become a reality.
That is why I’m asking you to submit public comments by April 29th, demanding the USDA reject frankenforests and protect the biological diversity of the Southern US. The USDA is accepting public comments on a request by GE tree company ArborGen to commercially sell hundreds of millions of freeze-tolerant genetically engineered eucalyptus trees annually for vast plantations across Texas, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina.
The only way to stop GE trees from becoming a dangerous invasive species that contaminates native forests is to ban the commercial release of GE trees before it’s too late.
Tell the USDA that GE freeze-tolerant eucalyptus plantations pose an unprecedented threat to forests and wildlife in the US and around the world. Tell them to reject ArborGen’s request to commercially sell billions of GE eucalyptus trees.
TAKE ACTION – Submit comments to the U.S. government
Non-GE eucalyptus plantations already have devastating impacts all over the world. Based on these documented impacts, GE eucalyptus plantations in the US will likely cause:
- Clearcutting of biodiverse forests for conversion to industrial GE eucalyptus plantations–called “green deserts” due to their devastating impacts on biodiversity
- Invasive spread of GE eucalyptus trees into native ecosystems–eucalyptus are already a documented invasive species in Florida and California
- Increased danger of firestorms – eucalyptus contain a highly volatile oil and are explosively flammable
- Displacement of wildlife that cannot use the non-native eucalyptus trees for habitat or food
- Contamination of soils and groundwater with toxic agrochemicals used on the plantations
- Worsening of drought – eucalyptus have deep tap roots, monopolize ground water and dry up soils
- Worsening of climate change through the destruction of carbon rich native forests for carbon poor plantations.
In addition to the points above, you can find more on the dangers of GE trees and detailed information for your comments in our GE trees fact sheet.
Join the Campaign Against GE Trees & Eucalyptus Plantations!
From May 26-June 1, industry leaders, scientists and policy makers will meet in Asheville, NC for the Tree Biotechnology 2013 Conference. The conference will discuss current and future applications of GE trees, such as large-scale plantations of GE eucalyptus trees in the southern United States, from South Carolina to Texas.
The STOP GE Trees Campaign is mobilizing events and protests in Asheville calling for a ban on the release of GE trees into the environment. To be alerted to updates on this situation and get involved in these events or the campaign to stop GE eucalyptus trees, email [email protected] or go to www.nogetrees.org