We Could Be Next

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
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On May 12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved a request by ArborGen, a GMO trees company, to plant 260,000 cold-tolerant genetically engineered (GE) eucalyptus trees in seven states along the U.S. Gulf Coast: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. ArborGen next plans to commercially release GE eucalyptus for planting on millions of acres in these states. They already have a request pending with the USDA to do this.

Eucalyptus plantations are notoriously destructive—causing deadly wildfires, depleting fresh water, and escaping into native forests where they displace biodiversity and wildlife. If commercially released, GE eucalyptus plantations would threaten to replace precious native hardwood forests in the South due to the increased financial incentive to replace slow-growing native forest stands with monoculture plantations of GE eucalyptus that mature in as few as 3-5 years.

The danger of GE cold-tolerant eucalyptus is not limited to the U.S., however. If perfected here, ArborGen intends to export GE eucalyptus around the world. The cold tolerance trait will greatly expand the range where eucalyptus plantations can be developed and spread the disaster of eucalyptus plantations to new ecosystems and communities.

GE Eucalyptus trees are just the beginning. If GE eucalyptuses are approved, engineered versions of native trees, like poplar and pine will surely follow. which will inevitably and irreversibly contaminate native forests.

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Independent Discussion Guidelines

Amazing how stupid some really smart people can be.

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
January 9, 2013 at 7:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Eucalyptus aren't even indigenous to the United States, what the heck are we doing planting more and genetically modified ones? What happened to the movement to ease Eucalyptus off the continent altogether?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 9, 2013 at 7:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Should we be removing all non-indigenous vegetation then? Locally Eucalyptus have a bad rap due to problems with fire, but they do serve a useful purpose in some areas. Look at at the windrows that have been planted in agricultural areas over the years. I don't recall any hue and cry to remove these trees.

discoboy (anonymous profile)
January 10, 2013 at 10:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

No one is saying remove existing Eucalyptus, just stop planting new ones. There's plenty of trees that evolved to live just fine in this climate.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 10, 2013 at 10:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

When God created eucalyptus as intolerant of cold temperatures, that means She wants us to plant oak trees instead.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
January 10, 2013 at 11:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

They also are very brittle and fall at a moment's notice

Check out Butterfly Lane today

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 10, 2013 at 3:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The upside: The wacky "GMO's are killing us" crowd get's another reason to claim the sky is falling giving the rest of us fodder to humor.

The downside: More eucalyptus trees in California? Seriously?

How about a GMO'ed, faster growing, Coast Live Oak or Valley Oak for gawdsakes?

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
January 11, 2013 at 5 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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