Ben H. Raines, reporter at AL.com, an online news hub for several Alabama newspapers, recently published an in depth look at Arborgen’s efforts to turn genetically engineered eucalyptus trees into a cash crop in the South.
Some say eucalyptus, especially genetically modified strains, may represent the future of agriculture across the region, from the Carolinas to Texas. But only if a group of geneticists working for a company called ArborGen can convince the federal government that genetically modified trees are not a threat to the South’s native forests, streams, and wetlands.
Raines corresponded with Arborgen representatives for the story, as well as GJEP ally Scot Quaranda of Dogwood Alliance, a North Carolina non-profit working to preserve and restore native forest ecosystems in the southeastern United States.
“We need to think carefully about planting a modified, frost-tolerant tree in the South. Eucalyptus is known for being incredibly thirsty, and really invasive. These are not qualities we want to promote.” – Scot Quaranda, Dogwood Alliance
In September, GJEP and Campaign to STOP GE Trees organizers Anne Petermann and Ruddy Turnstone were arrested while protesting Arborgen at their headquarters in South Carolina.