Earth Minute: Genetically Engineered American Chestnut Trees

Photo: Langelle/GJEP

The USDA is expected to soon make public a proposal to legalize widespread planting of the first ever genetically engineered tree—an American Chestnut– into wild forests, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. 

Forests make life on Earth possible. Yet GE chestnut researchers, supported by a retired Monsanto consultant, are dismissing concerns about the risks, and undermining efforts to protect forests from this reckless and irreversible experiment.

If this scheme is approved, the real experiment would take place in our forests, and the risks are huge.

There are no long-term risk assessments of releasing GE trees into forests, and scientists warn that such assessments are not possible with trees that live hundreds of years. 

Engineers think they can (re)create nature in the lab, but wild American chestnuts, or any species, cannot be restored with GE facsimiles. They are not protecting nature, they are replacing it.

Join the effort to keep GE trees out of forests.  Go to stopgetrees.org

For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show, this is Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project.

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