Experts and Scientists to Meet In Opposition to Genetically Engineered Trees


Media Advisory                                                             August 14, 2007


                            ***Interviews Available***

Contact: Orin Langelle /Global Justice Ecology Project    +1.802.482.2689 (office Tuesday)  and +1.802.578.6980 (mobile on site)
Phiona Hamilton-Gordon /Global Justice Ecology Project  +1.802.999.6654 (mobile on site)

Hinesburg, VT (U.S.)—Scientists and experts from the U.S. and Canada will meet this week in Vermont to plan campaign strategies to ban the development and commercialization of genetically engineered trees.

Experts and scientists from the STOP Genetically Engineered Trees Campaign are available for interviews this Wednesday and Thursday, 15-16 August. The annual strategy meeting of the North American STOP GE Trees Campaign is hosted by the Vermont-based Global Justice Ecology Project.

Strategy meeting participants will analyze the latest information on the dangers of genetically engineered trees including contamination of native tree species, the ecological and social impacts of GE trees and the potential introduction of a fungal pathogen associated with some trees.  GE trees are being aggressively promoted by the biotechnology industry, which seeks to commercialize this technology for pulp and paper, increased fruit production and large-scale biofuel (agrofuel) plantations.

Some of the people available for comment include Dr. Neil Carman (Sierra Club), Dr. Rachel Smolker (Global Justice Ecology Project), Lucy Sharratt (Canadian Biotechnology Action Network) Eva Hernandez (Dogwood Alliance), Brian Tokar (Institute for Social Ecology’s Biotechnology Project), Mark DesMarets (Northwest Resistance Against Genetic Engineering), Anne Petermann (Global Justice Ecology Project) and others.

Last month, members of the international STOP GE Trees Campaign met in Paris, France and three people who attended that meeting also will be present and available for comment at the North American strategy session.
                     
                                      
Top Right:  Hazmat team doing guerilla theatre at Charleston, SC’s Double Tree Hotel during an industry conference breakfast last October.  They used guerrilla theater to call for a halt of deforestation and expose the social impacts in Chile, Brazil and the U.S. South caused by timber plantations. The campaign also demands a global ban on the new threat of genetically engineered (GE) trees. The conference was organized by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations and co-sponsored by Summerville, SC-based ArborGen.  ArborGen leads the world in research into genetically engineered trees and works in both in the U.S. South and in Brazil.

Photograph:  Langelle/Global Justice Ecology Project

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