More than 90 environmental and social justice groups from 28 countries are calling on the Fores Stewardship Council to continue prohibiting the use of genetically engineered trees and to refrain from engaging with field experiments.
The statement reads:
We call on the Forest Stewardship Council to reaffirm its commitment to FSC’s current policy that prohibits the use of genetically engineered trees.
We call on the Forest Stewardship Council to refrain from overseeing and endorsing any field tests of genetically engineered trees.
Hacemos un llamado al FSC para que reafirme su compromiso con su política actual que prohíbe el uso de árboles genéticamente modificados.
Hacemos un llamado al FSC para que se abstenga de supervisar y respaldar cualquier prueba de campo de árboles genéticamente modificados.
This adds to the open letter sent in December 2021 from 217 organizations in 74 countries calling on FSC to disassociate itself from any GE tree research activities and continue to clearly prohibit the commercial growing of GE trees.
Decisions made by the FSC at the General Assembly 2022 and beyond are critical to the future of genetically engineered trees.
A new report published by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network and The Campaign to STOP GE Trees details the global status of development of genetically engineered trees. It argues that FSC’s prohibition serves to block the commercialization of GE trees and that this is necessary action to protect forest ecosystems.
In the immediate, the FSC-certified company Suzano cannot commercially grow their GE glyphosate-tolerant eucalyptus tree, approved by Brazil in late 2021, unless FSC changes its Policy for Association, or Suzano leaves FSC.
Genetically engineered trees are not inevitable. Genetic engineering in trees is technically challenging and poses vast and grave risks to forests and forest ecosystems. The potential negative environmental and social consequences of proceeding with the commercial release of GE trees, or even field trials, could be irreversible.