The Campaign to Stop GE Trees

Genetically engineered trees pose risks of contaminating forests, damaging ecosystems and harming communities

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The goal of the campaign is to protect native forests, and to defend the rights of forest dependent communities and Indigenous Peoples from the unknown and irreversible risks of releasing genetically engineered (GE) trees.


Trees are being genetically engineered for traits such as faster growth, and disease resistance.


Catch up on recent news, events, articles and education resources about GE trees.


It’s time to mobilize! You can help end the threat of genetically engineered trees.


Arm yourself with information about GE Trees (also called GM Trees)

GE trees are genetically engineered (they are sometimes called genetically modified trees or GMO trees).

Genetic engineering makes changes directly to the genetic material of an organism, without mating, by introducing genetic material or material that induces change to that genetic material. This invasive process causes mutations and other impacts.

Trees such as eucalyptus, American chestnut, poplar and pine are being genetically engineered for traits including faster growth, insect and disease resistance, and altered wood composition. If released, these GE trees risk contaminating native forests, damaging ecosystems and harming communities.

Trees have a very long life-cycle. They can live for decades or centuries. This means the risks GE trees pose to forests and communities are impossible to assess over the lifespan of the tree. Because these risks are both profound and unknowable, GE trees must be prohibited.

Sign the Petition

Add your name to stop US government approval of the widespread release of unproven genetically engineered (GE) trees into forests. The risks are huge.

If approved, these trees, GE American chestnuts, will spread their GE pollen and seeds freely. This would be the first-ever GE tree approved in the US, opening the floodgates to others.

It would also be the first-ever intentional release of a fertile genetically modified organism (GMO) into wild ecosystems, opening the door to other uncontrollable GMO releases.

Engineers think they can (re)create nature in the lab, but neither trees nor any species can be replaced by with GE facsimiles. This is not restoration, but dangerous open air experimentation.

This experiment would threaten wild American chestnuts with contamination from GE chestnut pollen. Decades of progress to restore wild American chestnut trees would be lost.

There are no long-term risk assessments of this scheme and scientists warn such assessments are not possible. American chestnuts can live hundreds of years and have deeply intertwined relationships with other trees, and with insects, songbirds and other wildlife.

Join individuals and organizations across the world in demanding the rejection of this and all genetically engineered trees. We cannot allow this kind of dangerous experimentation with our forests.

You can find detailed information about these threats in the white paper Biotechnology for Forest Health? The Test Case of the Genetically Engineered American Chestnut

From Our Feed

Latest News

Statement on the Recent Dicamba Decision

Photo: protest against Monsanto's toxic agrochemicals and GMOs in Asuncion, Paraguay, 2014.  Photo: Langelle/ photolangelle.org Campaign To Stop GE Trees For Immediate Release June 5, 2020 Statement on the Recent Dicamba Decision Monsanto's Pesticide Unlawful - Drift...

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Webinar Series Explains Gene Drives

GENE DRIVES EXPLAINED. WHAT, WHY, HOW? The authors of the interdisciplinary Gene Drive Report (2019) are holding webinars on social, technological & scientific, environmental, ethical and legal questions of this new technique in June 2020 via Zoom – for free....

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Science Says Burning Trees Is A False Climate Solution

Photo: Logging devastation in Mapuche Territory (Chile). Langelle/GJEP GE trees are being heavily promoted as a false climate solution. Genetically engineered trees are being developed for use in biomass plantations to be burned for electricity.  Other GE trees are...

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