Genetically Engineered Eucalyptus Trees–Like Flammable Kudzu
Dear GJEP Friends and Supporters,
July 20, 2011
When I watched GE tree company ArborGen’s presentation at the Tree Biotechnology 2011 Conference two weeks ago in Brazil, it was clear that they are determined to grow and sell their GE eucalyptus tree clones–at a rate of half a billion per year–for plantations across the U.S. South from Texas to Florida.
We are even more determined to stop them. You can help us stop this menace by sending a donation to the STOP GE Trees Campaign. We need to raise $20,000 before the end of the summer to meet the rapidly rising need for this campaign. Please help us achieve this goal by sending a gift today.
|A “green desert’ eucalyptus plantation with pile of logs|
“Healthy forests are absolutely critical for providing breathable air, drinkable water and the biodiversity and protection from climate change. The variety of ecosystems found in U.S. Southern forests- from Cumberland Plateau hardwoods, to coastal wetlands to the cypress swamps of the deep south–nurture specific animal and plant species that are important to maintaining a balanced and healthy environment. They are places of breathtaking natural beauty.” –Dogwood Alliance
|Native Southern Forest, Courtesy Dogwood Alliance|
These amazing forests are under threat. Right now, one in five acres of these forests have been converted to pine plantations-about 42 million acres. International Paper, a joint owner of ArborGen and one of the largest timber multinationals in the world, wants to double the acreage of timber plantations in the South to 84 million acres-using GE eucalyptus trees. Many animal and plant species will be put at grave risk.
GE eucalyptus plantations are notoriously invasive, flammable and dry up ground water. Already, large areas of the Southern U.S. are facing drought conditions. Even the U.S. Forest Service has expressed concern about ArborGen’s GE eucalyptus trees impacting on water. Because these plantations would be heavily sprayed with toxic herbicides and pesticides, they would also contaminate water sources.
In Brazil eucalyptus plantation are called “green deserts” because they are devoid of other plant or animal life.
Because these GE eucalyptus trees have been modified for cold tolerance, they could be sold all over the world for planting in regions currently too cold for eucalyptus. Forests worldwide would be threatened.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved ArborGen’s plan to plant large outdoor field trials of GE eucalyptus across seven southern U.S. states, from Texas to Florida. The USDA ignored overwhelming public opposition and several government agencies that expressed serious concerns.
For this reason, Global Justice Ecology Project, Dogwood Alliance and Sierra Club have joined attorneys at the Center for Food Safety and the Center for Biological Diversity to sue the USDA to stop these field trials.
ArborGen admits these field trials are the next step toward “deregulation” of GE eucalyptus trees-which would allow GE eucalyptus trees to be grown anywhere by anyone with no oversight.
Please send a contribution to help us stop this menace. You can help us protect the beautiful native hardwood forests of the Southern U.S., as well as forests all over the world. Simply send a gift to help us meet our funding goal of $20,000.
This is one fight to save the forests that we can win. You can help us stop GE trees. But we need your help today.
Donate securely online through Network for Good , or our Paypal account , or send a check made out to GJEP to The STOP GE Trees Campaign, PO Box 412, Hinesburg, VT 05461.
P.S. Don’t forget to consider becoming a monthly supporter. You can do this simply by clicking the button below. It will take you to a secure donation page where one of your options is to make a “recurring” donation either monthly or quarterly. And if you want to receive our occasional email updates, be sure to send us your email address.
Thanks very much for your support,