Genetically Engineered American Chestnut Tree: Resources & Info

Graft of American-Chinese chestnut hybrid. Photo: Orin Langelle/

Click here to sign our petition to the USDA calling on them to reject the unregulated release of risky, unproven GE American chestnut trees into forests.

Major new white paper on issues & concerns of the GE American Chestnut released:

Biotechnology For Forest Health? The Test Case of the Genetically Engineered American Chestnut (downloadable)

You can also find the Executive Summary, related materials, information and tools for getting involved.In addition to The Campaign to STOP GE Trees, Biofuelwatch and Global Justice Ecology Project, the network of groups collaborating to prevent the regulatory approval of GE trees in North America includes Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, Rural Coalition and Shawnee Forest DefenseFor more information or to help stop the release of GE trees into the environment, please contact ruddy (at) GlobalJusticeEcology (dot) org.Sign up to get more information and to help take action:

News & Analysis on the GE American chestnut and efforts to stop its release:

Let’s Farm Chestnuts Again

9 May 2019, by Charles C. Mann, Wall Street Journal Essay “Genetic modification is controversial. Two board members of the Massachusetts/Rhode Island chapter of the Chestnut Foundation resigned last month to protest the transgenic tree. These plants are intended to be released into forests as wild trees, so of course people want them to be as ‘natural’ as possible. But agricultural chestnuts, meant to be grown in orchards, are another matter. Partly or mostly American hybrids are available for this purpose.”

How the Ag-Biotech Industry is Attempting to Manipulate Public Opinion with Unproven Genetically-Engineered Chestnut Trees

8 May 2019 Organic Insider

Researchers can restore the American chestnut with genetic engineering. But at what cost?

29 April, 2019 The GM chestnut, a research project funded by Monsanto and other large agribusinesses, could infringe on indigenous sovereignty. From The New Food Economy, April 29th, 2019

Analysis of Survey on Public Acceptance of Forest Health Biotechnologies

18 April 2019 This brief report analyzes the details of a highly touted survey purporting to demonstrate that a majority of the public approves of GE trees.

KPFK Earth Minute on Chestnut Advocates Resigning Over GE Trees

17 April 2019 One minute radio segment on the decision by two Board members of the American Chestnut Foundation to resign due to the the foundation’s support for genetically engineering the American chestnut tree.

Chestnut Champions Quit to Protest Genetic Engineering of Trees

28 March 2019 By Elaine Thompson Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Mars, GE Chestnuts, Nazis and The End of Nature

7 March 2019, by Steve Taylor, GJEP published in Counterpunch,

Press Release: NAS Report Casts Doubt on Government Ability to Regulate GE Trees

30 January 2019 Press Release on the newly released NAS report Tree Biotechnology: Possibilities and Concerns, which raises flags that the preservation of forest health cannot be guaranteed by federal agencies if genetically engineered trees are deregulated for release into the wild.

Op-Ed in The Hill: The Forests are in Crisis, But Biotechnology is Not the Solution

28 March 2018 Commentary by white paper authors Dr. Rachel Smolker and Anne Petermann

Presentation to the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine on “Risks, Concerns, and Potential Problems Regarding the Use of Biotechnology to Address Forest Health”

27 March 2018 webinar presentation by white paper authors Dr. Rachel Smolker and Anne Petermann as part of the NAS study on The Potential for Forest Biotechnology to Address Forest Health