Genetic Engineering of trees is a major threat to our ecological system.

Genetic Engineering of trees is a major threat to our ecological system.  There would be major repercussions if this is allowed to happen, even in an experimental stage.

The USDA is currently taking public comments on whether or not the company ArborGen should be allowed to conduct 29 field trials of genetically engineered “cold tolerant” eucalyptus trees in the U.S. For the first time in history, this massive experiment, which is on the verge of being green-lighted, will literally be using nature as the laboratory to test more than 260,000 “franken-trees.”  Scientists across the U.S. are voicing concerns over this proposal including:

-The USDA failed to do an Environmental Impact Statement to assess potential negative issues related to the proposed field trials.

-Studies have shown tree pollen can travel up to 1,000 kilometers. The spread of the these plants into the wild through seeds and plant matter is highly likely, and the impacts on native ecosystems from this invader are unknown.

-One of the experimental GE tree varieties is a known host for cryptococcus gatti, a fatal fungal pathogen whose spores cause meningitis in people and animals.

Comments are being accepted by the USDA until July 6, 2009. Take action today by going directly to the USDA website to submit comments 

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to… to submit or view comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.