Click here to sign our petition to the USDA calling on them to reject the unregulated release of risky, unproven GE American chestnut trees into forests.
Major new white paper on issues & concerns of the GE American Chestnut released:
Biotechnology For Forest Health? The Test Case of the Genetically Engineered American Chestnut (downloadable)
You can also find the Executive Summary, related materials, information and tools for getting involved.
In addition to The Campaign to STOP GE Trees, Biofuelwatch and Global Justice Ecology Project, the network of groups collaborating to prevent the regulatory approval of GE trees in North America includes Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, Rural Coalition and Shawnee Forest Defense
For more information or to help stop the release of GE trees into the environment, please contact ruddy (at) GlobalJusticeEcology (dot) org.
Sign up to get more information and to help take action: https://stopgetrees.org/join-stop-ge-trees-mailing-list-now/
News & Analysis on the GE American chestnut and efforts to stop its release:
Controversial Tree? For Good Reason: Response to Pacific Standard article: The Most Controversial Tree in the World
4 September 2019, by Anne Petermann “Jacobsen dismisses the risks of releasing GE American chestnut trees by arguing that our forests are not really natural–he calls them ‘botanical gardens’– and that humans are all just genetically modified organisms (GMOs) anyway. Why would he so glibly dismiss the scientific information we carefully documented in the report? To undercut public opposition. As Jacobsen himself points out, ‘Given the current climate of anti-GMO sentiment around the world, it seems unlikely that any new commercial GMO trees will find public acceptance.'”
16 July, 2019, In These Times “the choices made about the genetically engineered (GE) American chestnut will set a precedent for the future use of biotechnology on other forest tree species and, even more broadly, on the use of biotechnology as a tool for conservation.”
14 June 2019, Counterpunch “Performing valid risk assessments of the potential impacts of GE American chestnut on forests, wildlife, water, soils, pollinators or people, is hampered by our lack of knowledge about both the ecology of the American chestnut and forest ecosystems. Furthermore, since American chestnuts can live for more than 200 years, risk factors may change over the tree’s lifetime in unpredictable ways.”
13 June 2019, The Ecologist “If it is deregulated, the GE chestnut would be the first GE forest tree species to be planted out in forests with the deliberate intention of spreading freely. Monitoring or reversing their spread, once released, would likely be impossible”
12 June 2019, Earth Island Journal “Biotech industry hopes that getting genetically engineered chestnut approved for conservation planting will soften public opposition to transgenic trees.”
12 June 2019, Independent Science News “Critically, the choices we make about the GE American chestnut will set a precedent for the future use of biotechnology on other forest tree species and even more broadly, on the use of biotechnology, including new technologies such as gene editing, gene drives etc. as “tools for conservation”.
Watch this video which covers the concerns raised in the GE chestnut White Paper. It reviews scientific issues with the GE chestnut, the corporate funding behind it, the players pushing it as a Trojan horse for industrial GE trees, and concerns from indigenous and rural perspectives.
9 May 2019, by Charles C. Mann, Wall Street Journal Essay “Genetic modification is controversial. Two board members of the Massachusetts/Rhode Island chapter of the Chestnut Foundation resigned last month to protest the transgenic tree. These plants are intended to be released into forests as wild trees, so of course people want them to be as ‘natural’ as possible. But agricultural chestnuts, meant to be grown in orchards, are another matter. Partly or mostly American hybrids are available for this purpose.”
How the Ag-Biotech Industry is Attempting to Manipulate Public Opinion with Unproven Genetically-Engineered Chestnut Trees
8 May 2019 Organic Insider
29 April 2019 NPR Public Radio On Point Program debate between Dr. Rachel Smolker of the Campaign to STOP GE Trees and GE chestnut Researcher William Powell of the School of Environment and Forestry at SUNY Syracuse.
18 April 2019 This brief report analyzes the details of a highly touted survey purporting to demonstrate that a majority of the public approves of GE trees.
KPFK Earth Minute on Chestnut Advocates Resigning Over GE Trees
17 April 2019 One minute radio segment on the decision by two Board members of the American Chestnut Foundation to resign due to the the foundation’s support for genetically engineering the American chestnut tree.
7 March 2019, by Steve Taylor, GJEP published in Counterpunch,
30 January 2019 Press Release on the newly released NAS report Tree Biotechnology: Possibilities and Concerns, which raises flags that the preservation of forest health cannot be guaranteed by federal agencies if genetically engineered trees are deregulated for release into the wild.
28 March 2018 Commentary by white paper authors Dr. Rachel Smolker and Anne Petermann
Presentation to the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine on “Risks, Concerns, and Potential Problems Regarding the Use of Biotechnology to Address Forest Health”
27 March 2018 webinar presentation by white paper authors Dr. Rachel Smolker and Anne Petermann as part of the NAS study on The Potential for Forest Biotechnology to Address Forest Health