Saturday, July 2, 2011

Invasive GMO Trees...what next????????


Do they smell good, sure and is their oil good as a repellent, yes but look below this tree and see how it suppresses all native species which support the native wildlife in our diverse ecosystems in this country.
 I worship the diversity of trees and habitats this United States contains. They are already threatened   enough by the hand of man. Imagine my horror to receive this email petition from
If you love our endangered forests and trees as much as I do please sign this petition at the above link.
Here are some reasons why.....if you have seen the ubiquitus eucalyptus of California they are not native.
Some Eucalyptus species have attracted attention from global development researchers and environmentalists. Such species have desirable traits such as being fast-growing sources of wood, producing oil that can be used for cleaning and functions as a natural insecticide, or an ability to be used to drain swamps and thereby reduce the risk of malaria. Outside their natural ranges, eucalypts are both lauded for their beneficial economic impact on poor populations[4][5]:22 and derided for being invasivewater-suckers,[6] leading to controversy over their total impact.[7]

Plantation and ecological problems

Eucalyptus was first introduced from Australia to the rest of the world by Sir Joseph Banksbotanist, on the Cook expedition in 1770. It was subsequently introduced to many parts of the world, notably California,BrazilEcuadorColombiaEthiopiaMoroccoPortugalSouth AfricaUgandaIsraelGalicia and Chile. In Portugal and also Spaineucalypts have been planted in pulpwood plantationsEucalyptus are the basis for several industries, such as sawmilling, pulp, charcoal and others. Several species have become invasive and are causing major problems for local ecosystems, mainly due to the absence of wildlife corridors and rotations management.
Due to similar favorable climatic conditions, Eucalyptus plantations have often replaced oak woodlands, for example in California and Portugal. The resulting monocultures have raised concerns about loss of biological diversity, through loss of acorns that mammals and birds feed on, absence of hollows that in oak trees provide shelter and nesting sites for birds and small mammals and for bee colonies, as well as lack of downed trees in managed plantations.
In seasonally dry climates oaks are often fire-resistant, particularly in open grasslands, as a grass fire is insufficient to ignite the scattered trees. In contrast a eucalyptus forest tends to promote fire because of the volatile and highly combustible oils produced by the leaves, as well as the production of large amounts of litter which is high in phenolics, preventing its breakdown by fungi and thus accumulates as large amounts of dry, combustible fuel.[22] Consequently, dense eucalypt plantings may be subject to catastrophic firestorms. Eucalypts obtain their long-term fire survivability from their ability to regenerate from epicormic budsand lignotubers,[22] or by producing serotinous fruits.

And here is some more information from

Action Alert: End U.S. FrankenTree Experiments: Genetically Engineered Trees Risky, Unnecessary and Must Be Resisted Until Banned

“Eucalyptus is the perfect neoliberal tree. It grows quickly, turns a quick profit in the global market and destroys the earth.” Jaime Aviles, La Jornada

Over a quarter of a million genetically engineered (GE) eucalyptus trees have been incautiously approved for planting by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Ultimately genetically engineered (GE) tree company ArborGen plans to sell these FrankenTrees for planting across millions of hectares from Texas to Florida - undoubtedly with some sort of sustainability greenwash for biofuel, pulp and timber. You can help us stop this disaster before it is too late. These genetically modified eucalyptus trees are like the notorious aggressively invasive Kudzu plant, but explosively flammable and toxic. In the 1990s and early 2000s a similar threat in Europe was largely rebuffed through direct action - together people simply destroyed the tree saplings.

Additional Background

This week a global gathering of 300 scientists, foresters and industry representatives in Brazil – the 2011 Tree Biotechnology Conference – are discussing the future of high tech tree breeding and genetically engineered or GE trees. The production of transgenic trees by paper and lumber companies is a major threat to biodiversity, ecosystems, water, local and indigenous peoples, and our shared bisophere.

Even the industry concedes very little is known about how genes function in trees, or about how GE trees will react in a forest ecosystem. There is the real possibility that new genes spliced into GE trees will irreversibly contaminate forests, or that the trees themselves will invade wild forests. Forests on private land, national forests or national parks, will be changed forever. We have no idea what the interaction with wild trees could be. There will undoubtedly be unforeseen consequences and toxically modifying tree is simply unnecessary and reckless. If industrial pressures were taken off old and regenerating natural forests, natural ecosystems could continue providing timber and pulp resources in moderation within ecosystems' limits.

ArborGen – the leading villain in GE tree development globally and a co-sponsor of the industry event – is requesting permission to sell their GE eucalyptus trees at the rate of half a billion per year, for planting over millions of acres from Texas to Florida. ArborGen has already been given permission by the USDA to plant 260,000 GE eucalyptus trees across seven states in the U.S. South (Texas, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Carolina). Timber companies see an opportunity to develop vast plantations of GE eucalyptus trees which grow faster, contain less lignin, and are more economically valuable. Once again, profit and using technology just because it can be done, are taking precedence over life, ecology, precaution, local landed peoples, and the constraints of the global biosphere.

Eucalyptus trees in particular are widely known for being highly invasive, explosively flammable and for causing or worsening droughts due to their voracious need for water. Because they are non-native, they provide no habitat for wildlife and they produce a chemical that suppresses the growth of other vegetation. Biodiverse forests would be clearcut to make room for GE eucalyptus plantations – perhaps with FSC and other greenwash certification as being “sustainable”. GE cold-tolerant eucalyptus trees are also a threat to forests globally. If ArborGen perfects them here they will export them for use in huge toxic monoculture tree plantations, often on stolen land, in countries across the global south.
I have many anecdotes about the threat of invasives and the difficulty of eradicating them once they have arrived that I will share in future blogs. I love our trees and forests and they are already under an onslaught, please speak up for them. If I haven't convinced you I welcome a dialogue on this blog. Please comment......

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