Monday, October 09, 2006

Genetically Engineered Trees ?!?!

One of the biggest threats to native forests that no one knows about is the development of genetically engineered trees. As in food crops, this technology poses tremendous threats, and extensive information about its hazards specific to trees and forests is available at the website of the Stop GE Trees Campaign.

This week in Charleston, S.C., October 10-13 the International Union of Forest Research Organizations hosts a paper industry conference entitled, "Sustainable Forest Management with Fast Growing Plantations." One of the sponsors of this conference is locally based bio-technology firm ArborGen, a joint venture of International Paper, MeadWestVaCo, and others. ArborGen has acquired 126 permits to conduct field tests of genetically engineered trees, most of them in South Carolina.

The Stop GE Trees Campaign organized an alternative forum on October 8-9 to educate the local community on ArborGen and GE trees. Delegates from the campaign will also be presenting a paper at the conference presenting the latest relevant research and advocating for the use of the precautionary principle in approaching this technology.

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