Tree biotechnology company ArborGen is requesting an unprecedented USDA approval: a genetically engineered (GE) eucalyptus tree, modified to be “freeze tolerant”

Arrest at the 2013 Tree Biotechnology Conference held in Asheville, NC. Photo: Langelle

If approved, this will be the first-ever GE forest tree to be commercially grown in the U.S. and would open the door to many other genetically engineered forest trees like poplar and pine. Massive, unregulated industrial GE eucalyptus plantations containing millions of GE trees would wreak havoc on the environment by destroying natural forests, polluting and depleting water, and endangering biodiversity.  Unfortunately, the Trump USDA has now formally proposed the approval of these dangerous GE trees.

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Non-native eucalyptus plantations would be huge biologically dead zones devoid of biodiversity. And combined with the hot dry winds of climate change, they become “explosively flammable”–a huge wildfire risk for regions already suffering droughts. Just look at what happened in Portugal’s eucalyptus plantations last week where 64 people were killed.

Trees live for decades to centuries and spread their seeds and pollen over huge distances.  Once released in plantations, these GE trees can never be recalled.

Sign on now to demand the USDA reject these disastrous GMO trees!  Help stop them before it is too late!  The deadline is JULY 5!

Industrial pine plantations have already replaced one in five forested acres in the US South, destroying biodiversity and ecosystems. In the Global South, timber plantations not only destroy forests, they displace Indigenous and poor rural people. If approved by the USDA, GE eucalyptus trees would be the next step in the process of converting native forests to industrial tree farms. GE eucalyptus trees have the potential to wreak havoc by invading native forests, depleting fresh water and being explosively flammable.

Global Justice Ecology Project

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Buffalo, New York