Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered (GE) Trees, Global Justice Ecology Project, Earth First!, Real Cooperative, Global Forest Coalition, Biofuelwatch
As protests raged outside, FuturaGene hosted a workshop on the future of forest biotechnology. Debate regarding what to do about public opposition to GE trees dominated the workshop.
Presenters lamented the fact that they were being targeted by protesters and that they could not get the public “on board” with their research and business plans. One presenter explained the need to get the public passionate about GE trees in order to facilitate legalizing their commercial release. He gave as an example the public passion that changed laws following the Newtown, CT shooting.
Conference attendee Anne Petermann, Coordinator of the international Campaign to STOP GE Trees and Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project, commented, “ArborGen is genetically engineering non-native eucalyptus trees to be freeze tolerant to feed ethanol refineries and biomass burners under the umbrella of climate mitigation. They want to convert biodiverse and carbon-rich forests into vast plantations of invasive, flammable and water-draining eucalyptus trees. This will be a disaster for the climate.”