SERIOUS MONDAY: KEEP OUR TREES NATURAL!

A worldwide campaign has been launched to prevent genetically engineered trees from damaging the environment.

The Stop GE Trees Campaign has been set up by a global project which says it aims to end false solutions to climate change such as the large-scale production of biofuels, carbon trading and carbon offset forestry.

It is concerned that genetically engineered eucalyptus, currently being grown in field trials, will contaminate traditional forest eco-systems –  leading to the loss of biological diversity and ultimately speeding up global warming.

And it is calling for a worldwide ban on the GE eucalyptus and other rapidly growing GE trees which it claims are a major threat to the environment.

Currently, billions of dollars are being invested in GE tree research and development in the USA and hundreds of field trials have already taken place.

Campaigners are concerned that if the GE trees are allowed to seed, the seeds will be carried long distances by the wind and the strong and invasive GE varieties will thrive at the expense of native, more vulnerable species.

They say the development of GE trees is being driven by the paper and biofuels industries and is worsening the problem of illegal logging as traditional forests are felled to make way for the new SuperTrees.

As they spread across the world, the effects will pass from trees to wildlife and forest-dependent and indigenous communities.

The campaign has found widespread support in many developed countries and many eminent scientists are backing its calls.

You can find out more – and order a DVD about GE trees here

Susan

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