The Global Status of Genetically Engineered Tree Development: A Growing Threat
The global release of genetically engineered (GE or genetically modified) trees is closer than it has ever been. This report examines the current global reality of GE trees. It documents the status of GE tree development around the world, in order to identify where the risk of GE tree release is most immediate. It also outlines some of the risks and discusses some of the most prominent proposed uses. Due to changes in national regulations, this report may be the last opportunity to get a snapshot of GE tree field testing around the world.
We’ve compiled an international list of resources, starting with our steering committee’s organizations. While not complete and always growing, this is a great place to start learning about GE trees and the related issues of tree plantations and biofuels. (GE trees are also known as GMO trees, transgenic trees, genetically modified trees or GM trees.)
Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP) resources on GE trees (GMO trees)
- Monoculture Tree Plantations Resources (2017)
- The GE Eucalyptus Fact Sheet – Updated, Aug. 2017
- Our 2015 Fact Sheets on GE Loblolly, Eucalyptus, Poplar, and Chestnut Trees
- 2012 Report, Genetically Engineered Trees and Bioenergy: A Growing Threat to Forests and Communities
- Global Justice Ecology Project and Global Forest Coalition’s 2008 report, GE Trees, Cellulosic Biofuels, Destruction of Forest Biological Diversity
- Genetically Engineered Trees: No Solution to Global Warming: UN COP-8 Briefing No. 2
- GE Trees and Global Warming: The Myth of Carbon Offset Forestry Originally posted by STOP GE Trees Campaign Page.
World Rainforest Movement resources on tree plantations, GE trees and biofuels
- General section on tree plantations
- 2012 Report on tree plantations, An overview of industrial tree plantations in the global South: conflicts, trends, and resistance struggles
- General section on GE Trees
- 2014 report, GE Trees Research: A Country by Country Overview
- 2007 report,
- Transgenic Trees2008 report on biofuels, Ethanol from cellulose: A technology that could spell disaster
- List of resources and reports
- November 2015 report, Last Ditch Climate Option or Wishful Thinking? Bioenergy With Carbon Capture and Storage
- December 2020 report, Negative Emission Technologies: Can They Deliver?
EcoNexus resources on the science of GE trees (GMO trees)
- Steinbrecher, Ricarda and Lorch, Antje. Genetically Engineered Trees & Risk Assessment (2008). Published by the Federation of German Scientists. Presented at CBD COP9 negotiations on GE trees.
- Other publications on the EcoNexus website
Global Forest Coalition
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
- GM Contamination in Canada: The failure to contain living modified organisms – Incidents and impacts
- Genome Editing in Food and Farming: Risks and Unexpected Consequences
Center for Food Safety resources on GE trees (GMO trees)
- General section on GE Trees
- 2013 Report, Genetically Engineered Trees: The New Frontier of Biotechnology
Additional Resources on GE Trees:
Additional Resources on Biofuels:
- Biomass Basics from Biofuelwatch, 2018
- Feb 9, 2015 Letter to US EPA from scientists on the dangers of wood-based electricity
- CARBON BRIEF – Report: Subsidize Should End for Many Types of Biomass
Resources From the Blog
A Rude Awakening on KPFA Interview Author Donald Edward Davis Pacifica Radio 24 June 2022 Sabrina Jacobs, host of A Rude Awakening on KPFA spoke with Dr. Donald Edward Davis, author of The American Chestnut: An Environmental History. His exhaustive book explores how...
Genetically Engineered Trees: No Solution to Climate Change Árvores transgênicas não são solução para as mudanças climáticas Árboles transgénicos: No son solución al cambio climático Les arbres génétiquement modifiés: ne sont pas une solution aux changements...
Anne Petermann is the Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project. She has been working on issues related to protecting forests and defending the rights of Indigenous peoples since 1990 and co-founded the first global campaign against genetically engineered...
Lucy Sharratt is the Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN), which brings together 16 groups to research, monitor and raise awareness about issues relating to genetic engineering in food and farming. CBAN is a project on the shared platform of...
Common Ground Radio 14 January 2021 Producer/host C.J. Walke interviewed members of the Campaign to Stop GE Trees to discuss the history of the American Chestnut tree in our eastern forests, genetic engineering of American chestnut trees and the social and economic...
Lois Melican and Denis Melican are American chestnut restoration activists and former Board members of The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF). In 2019, the Melicans made the decision to resign from TACF due to the organization's support for the unregulated planting...
Dark Hort? More Questions than Answers Jen Ries, Fedco Trees Coordinator, on behalf of Fedco The chestnut, an iconic tree of the American landscape, is poised to become a different kind of icon of a new era. A petition has arrived at the USDA asking for the release of...
The majestic American chestnut was once common in forests in the eastern U.S., but a blight has killed billions of these giant trees. Researchers are moving forward with genetically-modified trees that will survive the blight. But as Julie Grant of The...
On October 19, 2020 the initial public comment period by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the petition for deregulation of Darling 58 genetically engineered (GE or genetically modified) American Chestnut closed. Historically, there has been strong...
For Immediate Release: 10/20/2020 Public Comment on Darling 58 American Chestnut Closes Groups Across North America Oppose Release of Genetically Engineered Trees New York- On Oct. 19th the initial public comment period by the United States Department of Agriculture...
For Immediate Release: Environmental Groups Representing Millions Oppose Request to Allow Planting of Genetically Engineered Trees in Forests as USDA Opens Public Comment Period
For Immediate Release 10 September 2020 New York–On 18 August the long-awaited public comment period regarding possible deregulation of the genetically engineered (GE) American chestnut tree opened. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is giving the public until...
Greetings Earthlings. Perhaps you're familiar with the plight of the American Chestnut tree? It's a long sad tale and it may get even sadder soon. Dr. Rachel Smolker and Anne Petermann of the Campaign to STOP GE Trees join us to see the forest for the trees during...
Dr. Rachel Smolker discusses the request for USDA approval of genetically engineered (GE) American chestnut trees into wild forests with Sabrina Jacobs, host of A Rude Awakening on KPFA.
Lois Breault-Melican, former president of the Rhode Island American Chestnut Foundation explains why she and her husband, Denis, resigned in protest over current plans to seed natural forests with genetically engineered (GE) American Chestnuts. Lois explains how TACF...
The following article includes excerpts from Grace Kelly's interviews with Lois & Denis Melican, former members of MA/RI Chapter board of The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF), and Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project. Infighting...
Medium 27 July 2020 Theresa Church The University of New England (UNE) is partnering with SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry (ESF) to develop the first ever genetically engineered (GE) forest tree for release into the wild. UNE has a request pending...
Genetically engineered trees do not belong in our forests Bangor Daily News 19 July 2020 Theresa Church The COVID-19 pandemic has given us a rare interlude to evaluate the notion of business as usual. It has exposed mounting flaws and inequalities as a result of the...
On Saturday 7 July 2020, The Scranton Times Tribune ran an op ed by Anne Petermann, International Coordinator for the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees titled Genetically Modified Chestnuts Imperil Forests. The following is Peterman’s submission to the...