Most readers of Climate Connections know that we at the Global Justice Ecology Project, Campaign to STOP GE Trees, and Biofuelwatch, consider that GE Trees can be highly invasive species. These synthetic organisms live for a long time and introduce toxins into natural ecosystems. This profoundly and negatively impacts ecosystem services. The biotech industry wants us to believe that these products are safe. The Convention for Biological Diversity adopted the The Precautionary Principle in 2001 because adequate GMO science is uncertain, ambiguous, has omitted research areas, and lacks the basic knowledge of crucial risk assessments.
While the invasives in the story are not GE Trees, the lessons to be learned from this invasion are fundamental and are exactly why we have to be very careful when introducing invasive species into the wild.
By Brian Bienkowski, Truthout. 15 October 2014
Leland, Michigan - A midsummer overcast lifts as Lake Michigan changes from inky black to a deep blue-green. Ben Turschak bends over the rail of the boat, staring into the abyss in search of an exact spot.
“There it is, there it is,” Turschak says. He points to an underwater buoy used to mark a stash of underwater cameras and monitoring equipment 60 feet below the surface.
Turschak, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee graduate student, and his colleague Emily Tyner climb into bulky dry suits and strap on air tanks, masks and flippers, preparing for a plunge into the 60-degree water.
“I’m a little nervous, I haven’t dived here in two years. I’ve dived in the Caribbean and it’s just much harder here,” Tyner says. “This lake might as well be an ocean.”
Turschak leads Tyner down to the bottom. Ten minutes later they splash up, then climb back onto the boat and start unloading their bounty of water samples and a big bag of smelly green algae. “That’s the most gobies we’ve seen,” Tyner says. The aggressive bottom-feeding fish with a voracious appetite, accidentally imported from Eurasia, has taken over the nearshore waters here.