Saturday, September 25, 2010
In 2004, September 21st was declared the International Day Against Tree Monocultures by organizations throughout the world. On this day, people in every continent carry out actions to generate awareness about the impacts of large scale tree monocultures on communities and their environments.
This past week on September 21st, 2010, in the United States, there was an urgent focus on the looming threat of genetically engineered eucalyptus tree plantations, being pushed aggressively, and many say quite recklessly, through the regulatory approval process.
The Dogwood Alliance's Executive Director, Danna Smith said, "The USDA recently approved a request by GE tree company ArborGen, headquartered in South Carolina, to plant over a quarter of a million genetically engineered eucalyptus trees across Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and South Carolina, -many of the same regions still trying to recover from Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill. This would be another disaster for the region."
On July 1, 2010 Global Justice Ecology Project, Dogwood Alliance, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, and the International Center for Technology Assessment filed a lawsuit challenging the USDA's decision in order to stop ArborGen's GE eucalyptus plantings. The case is pending.
Dogwood Alliance and its allies in the Stop GE Trees Coalition released a short video, embedded below, which makes the case quite persuasively that common sense and good scientific ethics dictate the need to slow down, and halt the introduction of what are commonly known as "Frankentrees." In it they call for a political "day of action" in 2011 to bring additional attention and energy to the campaign.
Those concerned may sign a petition to join their voice to the effort.