May 25, 2005
To Whom It May Concern,
Global Justice Ecology Project’s campaign to end the genetic engineering of trees around the world is fundamentally important and I strongly support it.
Global Justice Ecology Project’s founders Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle began building opposition to the development of genetically engineered (GE) trees in 1999.
The Stop GE Trees Campaign, which they co-founded in 2004 along with Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, Dogwood Alliance and others, in mounting a powerful challenge to the corporations promoting genetically engineered trees.
Genetically engineered trees pose a monumental threat to the world’s remaning native forests. Engineered traits such as insect resistance, reduced lignin and sterility would cause ecological havoc if they escaped into native forests. These effects would irreversibly impact both ecosystems and indigenous communities that depend on intact forests- and ultimately all life on our little planet.
Financial subsidies for GE trees form organizations like the World Bank will provide huge incentives to promote GE trees research and development at the time when market-based campaigns by Rainforest Action Network and others are winning victories, with corporations like Kinkos agreeing not to use or sell products made from GE trees.
Global Justice Ecology Project approaches the GE trees issue by examining the role of international bodies like the United Nations, the World Bank and the WTO in advancing GE trees technology, as well as by working with indigenous communities that are threatened by the development of GE trees plantations. This broad approach enables GJEP to bring a comprehensive analysis to the issue ad create effective strategies to successfully address the issue. Simply put, they are heroic people.
Industry has projected that they hope to have GE tree plantations established in Latin America in 2006. Once this occurs, the rest of the world will not be far behind. The time is now to stop the threat of genetically engineered trees, before it is too late.
I hope you will join me in supporting the efforts of Global Justice Ecology Project and the STOP GE Trees Campaign to stop the commercial development of GE tree plantations.
Founder and Board President, Rainforest Action Network
Director of Sustainability, Mayor Jerry Brown’s office City of Oakland
Executive Director, International Forum on Globalization