Front Porch Blog

GE Trees Taking Root in the Forest Industry

A cozy triad of government, forestry industry stakeholders and academic biotechnology researchers is developing, poised to promote the public acceptance of GE trees.
[ Canada ] Concerns about genetically engineered foods and industrial crops continue. At the same time we must face the reality of another, potentially greater, threat to planetary biodiversity – genetically engineered (GE) trees. The forest industry’s keen interest in and promotion of genetically altered trees hinges upon the quest for significant monetary benefits. For instance, by controlling certain economically relevant traits, such as decreasing lignins – lignins are the naturally occurring chemical compound in wood that strengthens cell walls – and increasing growth rates, profits to the pulp and paper industries could improve significantly. The subtext of government and industry’s combined GE tree message is: “Trust us, we know best. Monocultural plantations of genetically engineered trees will save our native forests. This cheerleader mentality of rooting for a very new and untested biotechnology is deeply disturbing for a variety of reasons. One obvious reason is the assumption and promotion of the unproven premise that the benefits of growing and harvesting genetically engineered trees outweighs the risks and hazards.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes
www.southernsustainableforests.org

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