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Global Justice Ecology Project executive director Anne Petermann’s regular Earth Minute segment on the Sojourner Truth radio show focused on why GE trees won’t solve forests’ health crisis. The segment compliments a recent op-ed co-authored by Petermann that was recently published by The Hill titled The forests are in crisis but biotechnology is not the solution.


There is a concerted effort right now to convince the American public that genetically engineered trees can help address the myriad health crises plaguing forests.

But many forest health crises were caused by other, ill-conceived human activities: like the global trade in wood that transports disease and insects around the planet.

Other crises were caused by activities supposed to “help” forests. Like salvage logging or the suppression of natural wildfires that is contributing to devastating firestorms.

GE trees are one more bad idea in a long line.

Forests are incredibly complex. Trees live for decades to centuries and spread their pollen over many miles. Understanding the full risks GE trees pose decades from now is impossible.

Forests are critical to life on Earth. But using GE trees to improve their health is bound to fail, with potentially irreversible impacts, which is why hundreds of thousands have said NO to GE Trees. Addressing forest health crises requires addressing their underlying causes, not risky, unproven techno-fixes.


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