Call to Action: Stand up for Native Forests, Resist the Tree Biotechonology 2013 Conference!

Protest: May 26 – June 1!

Asheville, NC

Join Earth First!, Global Justice Ecology Project and the STOP GE Trees Campaign for a week of resistance to genetically engineered trees. At the end of May, the International Tree Biotechnology 2013 Conference is taking place in Asheville, NC. This conference is a gathering of many of the major players in the genetically engineered tree business and we intend to greet them with spirited protest.

Timber and utility corporations want to plant millions of acres genetically engineered trees throughout the South to burn for electricity, as well as to continue supplying the unsustainable lumber and paper industries. These trees would be engineered to produce their own pesticides, grow straighter and faster, tolerate manufactured pesticides, produce sterile seeds, and reduce lignin content (this is what makes the wood in a tree strong enough to stand up). If these traits escaped into native tree populations, the effects would be devastating and irreversible.

The USDA is already considering approving an industry request to sell billions of genetically engineered freeze tolerant eucalyptus trees.  These non-native, invasive and flammable trees pose an unprecedented threat to the forests and communities of the Southern US.

We stand to lose tens of thousands of acres of our diverse and resilient native forests to sterile monoculture tree plantations that support few if any native species. Intact, native forests our one of our best defenses against climate change. Establishing massive plantations of flammable eucalyptus and other GE trees could result in increased climatic catastrophe.  This is especially true when these plantation are used to fuel biomass plants, which burn trees to produce electricity, releasing more greenhouses gases than burning coal.

These protests will send a critical message to the USDA as they are poised to approve the first ever commercial planting of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees in several southern states.

Join activists from around the country for an action packed week of resistance to GE trees.  We are kicking off the week with a teach-in on May 27 followed by a mass march to the conference center on May 28th. Affinity group actions are being called throughout the week to ensure the GE tree industry does not get a moment’s rest during their stay in Asheville.

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