Friday, May 19, 2017

Tell the feds to reject this genetically engineered eucalyptus

Tree biotechnology company ArborGen is requesting an unprecedented USDA approval:a genetically engineered (GE) “freeze tolerant” eucalyptus. If approved, this will be the first-ever GE forest tree to be commercially grown in the U.S., allowing ArborGen to plant massive, unregulated GE tree farms that will wreak havoc on the environment by destroying natural forests, polluting and depleting water, and endangering biodiversity. Paper and biofuel companies are planning on growing these trees on intensively managed monoculture tree plantations. Unfortunately, the Trump USDA has now formally proposed the approval of these dangerous GE trees.

The time is now critical: Help prevent these Frankentrees from taking over our forests. Tell USDA to reject these GE trees

Even non-genetically engineered Eucalyptus trees are not native to North America, are harmful to native wildlife, and they’ve already become invasive in California. Now, industry plans to plant millions of GE eucalyptus trees in ecosystems and climates that have never supported eucalyptus in the past. Fragile ecosystems and a host of endangered plant and animal species will almost certainly be harmed by such large scale GE eucalyptus plantations.

Instead of focusing on unproven biotechnologies that will benefit a few large corporations, USDA’s goal should be the sustainable management of our nation’s forests for the benefit of all.

The first time ArborGen requested approval of its eucalyptus tree, more than17,000 CFS members sent comments to USDA in opposition. Now, let's send them even more comments to make sure the USDA hears us loud and clear: say no to genetically engineered eucalyptus trees!

Tell the feds to reject this genetically engineered eucalyptus

- The Center for Food Safety team

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