The GE Tree Company ArborGen has been given permission by the USDA to plant huge plantations of genetically engineered (GE) eucalyptus trees across seven states in the southern U.S. — Texas, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Carolina. These states are very well-suited for eucalyptus culture, and varieties of eucalyptus have naturalized in other areas of the United States. Eucalyptus are also used extensively as ornamentals across the warmer parts of the States, creating many opportunities for genetic contamination.
ArborGen is also requesting that trees be allowed to flower at four locations in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi, and to be kept in pots (but not allowed to flower) in two locations in South Carolina.
The GE eucalyptus trees have been engineered for more cold tolerance, to alter flowering patterns, and with resistance to the antibiotic kanamycin.
The Global Justice Ecology Project is trying to stop the introduction of these and other GE trees into our landscapes.
For more detailed information about the dangers of GE Eucalyptus read their action alert (PDF).
How you can help
- Submit comments before March 12, 2012
- Sign the online petition to stop GE eucalyptus from the Global Justice Ecology Project
- Have friends sign this petition and mail it to the Global Justice Ecology project (it has room for many signatures)
Once introduced into our environment, genetically engineered trees will be very, very hard to stop. Please take action and show the USDA that we don’t want our forests and landscapes tampered with genetically!
- Global Justice Ecology Project’s “Stop GE Trees” portion of their site, it has a lot of good info