Note: Members of Global Justice Ecology Project and the Campaign to STOP GE Trees are touring the southeastern US to raise awareness about the risks of genetically engineered trees. See when they are coming to your town here: http://bit.ly/getrees-roadshow
-The GJEP Team
October 28, 2013
Gainesville, FL–The University of Florida, a leading institution researching genetically engineered (GE) trees, threatened to arrest activists from the Campaign to STOP GE Trees when they arrived on campus Saturday to prepare for a presentation to highlight critical perspectives on tree biotechnology that was scheduled for tonight. The police informed the group that their presentation had been cancelled, and warned them that they were banned from University of Florida (UF) property for three years.
“Evicting us from campus was a blatant act of censorship by the University of Florida, likely linked to the millions they are receiving for GE trees research,” said Keith Brunner, from the international Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees.
In 2011, the University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation along with GE tree company ArborGen won a three-year, $6.3 million grant from the US Department of Energy to develop GE loblolly pines for liquid biofuel production. There is rising opposition to GE trees due to concerns over genetic contamination, increased flammability, deforestation and other ecological impacts of industrial tree plantations.
The UF presentation was part of a multi-week speaking tour titled “The Growing Threat: Genetically Engineered Trees and the Future of Forests.” The tour will travel through several southern states (NC, GA, FL, SC) to educate the public about the social and environmental threats posed by the proposed commercial release of billions of genetically engineered freeze tolerant eucalyptus trees in seven southern states from South Carolina to Florida to Texas.
Note: GJEP has worked with the Mapuche in Chile to stop genetically engineered trees.
GJEP teams up weekly with Margaret Prescod and the Sojourner Truth show for an Earth Minute and a 12-minute EarthWatch interview every Thursday covering front line environmental news from across the globe.
Note: Global Justice Ecology Project coordinates the International Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered (GE) Trees. To support GJEP’s ongoing efforts to build resistance to the GE tree industry in the southeastern US, check out this short campaign video: http://bit.ly/stop-ge-trees
-The GJEP Team
By Maureen Nandini Mitra, September 3, 2013. Source: Earth Island Journal
Image: Lilli Keinaenen
In late May, forest biologists, geneticists, and forestry industry officials from across the world gathered at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina to discuss ongoing research in tree genetics. One of the key sessions at the weeklong “Tree Biotechnology 2013 Conference” dealt with the “different aspects of the use of transgenics, including gains in productivity, gene flow, and societal acceptance.” The last point, it turned out, would be the attendees’ biggest hurdle.
As convention participants sat in the four-star hotel’s conference rooms discussing how genetically engineered (GE) trees could meet the growing demand for “sustainable, renewable sources of biomass, in the face of climate change,” several hundred demonstrators gathered on the streets outside in one of the largest protests ever organized against genetically engineered trees. Anne Petermann, coordinator of the “Campaign to STOP GE Trees,” says their message to the tree biotech industry and its investors was simple: Expect resistance.
The protestors had converged in Asheville for their own weeklong “counter-conference.” Their key intention was to highlight concerns over the United States government’s pending approval of a genetically modified eucalyptus tree. The proposal, by the South Carolina-based company ArborGen, is currently being considered by the US Department of Agriculture. If approved, it would be the first time a transgenic tree is authorized for commercial production in the country.
30 August, 2013. Source: Global Justice Ecology Project
Photo: Photolangelle.org for GJEP
Global Justice Ecology Project has just launched a brand new crowdfunding campaign and promotional 4 minute video to raise funds for the next phase of our campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees.
Coming off of our successes in May, when we organized the largest ever protest against GE trees at an industry conference in North Carolina, we are now organizing a roadshow that will travel to the communities directly threatened by the development of future GE eucalyptus plantations.
Please join us in making this crowdfunding campaign a success and helping us permanently stop the threat of genetically engineered trees.
Click here to see the video: http://bit.ly/stop-ge-trees
Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project
Note: Anne Petermann is the Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project and the Coordinator of the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees. Orin Langelle is the Board Chair of GJEP and the Director of Langelle Photography. You can sign the petition calling on the USDA to deny ArbrorGen’s application to deregulate cold-tolerant genetically engineered eucalyptus here: http://bit.ly/axNIjq
-The GJEP Team
By Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle, July 1, 2013. Source: Z Magazine
Hundreds of activists from across the country converged on Asheville, North Carolina from Sunday, May 26 to Saturday, June 1 to protest the Tree Biotechnology 2013 conference, hosted by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). They came to raise vocal and determined opposition to genetically engineered trees (GE trees). The conference occurs every two years and brings together leading tree engineers, students, and corporate representatives to discuss the science and politics of genetically engineering trees.
The conference was disrupted or protested by activists even before it began and almost every day it took place. On May 25, more than 1,000 people joined the March Against Monsanto in Asheville, with a vocal contingent protesting GE trees. On Monday morning, two Asheville residents were arrested after invading the conference and disrupting the opening session of the day. On Tuesday, the largest protest yet against GE trees took place as hundreds of people marched through the streets and rallied outside the conference hotel. A conference field trip on Wednesday was cancelled due to the threat of protests. On Thursday, three activists were arrested while blocking a conference bus headed to an exclusive dinner at the Biltmore Estate.
To read the entire article, go to Z Magazine.
Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK Pacifica Los Angeles for a weekly Earth Minute each Tuesday and a weekly Earth Watch interview each Thursday.
Note: News is spreading around the world about the largest protests ever against the genetically engineered tree industry. Global Justice Ecology Project would like to thank everyone who has participated in or supported this week of action. Stay tuned to Climate Connections for more updates. The fun is not over yet.
-The GJEP Team
By Mike Ludwig, May 29, 2013. Source: Truthout
Protests are raging outside of a biotechnology conference in Asheville, North Carolina, where demonstrators are voicing opposition to proposals to grow genetically engineered eucalyptus trees across the southeastern United States.
Hundreds of demonstrators marched outside the Tree Biotechnology 2013 conference on Wednesday, and organizers said the protest was the largest against genetically engineered trees yet. On Tuesday, two Asheville residents were arrested after disrupting a presentation at the conference, according to a release from activist groups.
The protests come just days after an estimated 2 million people joined protests against biotech giant Monsanto in countries across the world.
Two major sponsors of the biotechnology conference in Asheville, FuturaGene andArborGen, have proposed to introduce genetically engineered eucalyptus trees for commercial cultivation in the United States and Brazil. The trees would be burned as a source of biomass energy.