In the wake of controversy surrounding Measure 2-89 in Benton County, Oregon there has been fear that the measure will also ban the genetic engineering of trees. Indeed it should. Vast GE Tree plantations in Oregon and Washington will not only worsen deforestation and climate change, they will also impact food crops.
These GE poplar trees being researched at OSU have been engineered for herbicide tolerance. It has already been widely proven that herbicide tolerant GE crops have led to the development of herbicide resistant weeds and these are taking a heavy toll on agriculture in the US, including leading to the use of increasingly toxic herbicides. Herbicide resistant poplars will inevitably lead to the same dangerous impacts on agricultural producers.
Further, the development of GE tree plantations will require land. This will put them in competition with existing land uses–including agricultural production. GE trees are not only a threat to our native forests, wildlife and forest dependent communities, they are a threat to farmers and our food supply. Keep GE Trees in M2-89.
GE Trees Campaigner
Global Justice Ecology Project