In a piece published on the Huffington Post, Dr. Rachel Smolker, co-director of Biofuelwatch, and Anne Petermann, coordinator of the Campaign STOP GE Trees, review the actions of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (or MST) last month, where 1,000 MST women destroyed genetically engineered eucalyptus seedlings at a Brazilian biotech facility. These women have experienced the environmental fallout of non-GE eucalyptus plantations, which will only increase with the adoption of the GE variety.
On March 5th, a thousand angry women descended on a facility in Brazil where the biotechnology company, FuturaGene, was growing genetically engineered eucalyptus trees. Later that day, a meeting of the Brazilian Biosafety Commission (CTNBio) was scheduled to announce their decision about whether or not to allow commercial release of the GE eucalyptus. The women, members of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement, or MST, and several other social movements in Brazil were angry. They broke into the facility and ripped up tree seedlings. They made clear their determination to prevent the release of GE eucalyptus because they have direct experience with the harms resulting from existing large plantations of non-GE eucalyptus, and they know that faster-growing engineered trees will have even greater impacts.