For Immediate Release: 20 September 2011
International Day Against Tree Monocultures
Southern U.S. States Targeted for Genetically Engineered Tree Plantations
From: STOP GE Trees Campaign / Global Justice Ecology Project / Dogwood Alliance
United States–Today is the International Day Against Tree Monocultures . Across the globe, timber plantations are wreaking havoc on forests and forest dependent communities. Now, to further exacerbate this damage, genetically engineered trees (or GE trees) pose a new and unprecedented threat.
The Dogwood Alliance’s Executive Director, Danna Smith said, “The USDA recently approved a request by GE tree company ArborGen, headquartered in South Carolina, to plant over a quarter of a million genetically engineered eucalyptus trees across Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and South Carolina, —many of the same regions still trying to recover from Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill. This would be another disaster for the region.”
Like kudzu, eucalyptus trees are wildly invasive, and spread into native ecosystems, displacing wildlife. Additionally, the oil in these eucalyptus trees is extremely flammable. California spends millions each year to eradicate invasive eucalyptus because of the threat of wildfires. In 2009 over 200 people were killed in Australia in a firestorm fuelled by eucalyptus. It was the worst fire in the country’s history.
Please go to www.nogetrees.org for a new short video clip launched today in conjunction with this release that further exposes the threat of GE trees.
On July 1, 2010 Global Justice Ecology Project, Dogwood Alliance, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, and the International Center for Technology Assessment filed a lawsuit to stop ArborGen’s GE eucalyptus due to their potential impacts .
“It’s time for people to understand that GE trees must be banned and that plantations are not forests,” remarked Orin Langelle, Global Justice Ecology Project Co-Director/Strategist.
Anne Petermann, Global Justice Ecology Project, +1.802.578.0477
Lindsey Simerly, Dogwood Alliance, +1.828.280.3333
NOTES to Editors: In 2004, September 21st was declared the International Day Against Tree Monocultures by organizations throughout the world. On this day, people in every continent carry out actions to generate awareness about the impacts of large scale tree monocultures on communities and their environments. For more info, see www.wrm.org.uy  For background on the lawsuit: