ArborGen, Inc. with headquarters in Ridgeville, South Carolina, wants “non-regulated status” for their genetically engineered eucalyptus trees. As required by law, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has published the draft Environmental Impact Statement with a public comment period. To comment, go to https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=APHIS-2012-0030.
To read more about the threat of industrial tree plantations, see this article from the Center for Food Safety.
GE trees would threaten forests and communities throughout the U.S. Southeast–known by activists as “ground zero” for the development of GE trees.
The Southeastern U.S. has been the world’s number one producer of wood pulp with one in five forested acres converted to industrial pine plantations. The region’s forests are now also being logged for wood pellet exports to UK coal plants.
“GE tree plantations are a false solution, not the magic cure-all to climate change and deforestation promised by the wood products and energy industries,” added Cristina Stella, an attorney with the Center for Food Safety. “GE trees would contaminate and destroy natural forests; reduce biodiversity; pollute water; endanger the health of workers; and negatively affect local communities. CFS is committed to using our extensive legal and policy expertise in GE organisms to prevent these impacts.”