Genetically Engineered Trees: A New Frontier or Climate Catastrophe?

Kat Battaglia (Green America) writes, “The risks of GE trees are grave. From current GE trees evaluations and experiments as well as studies assessing the environmental impact of GE trees, several large issues were identified. Lower lignin content trees decompose faster and release more carbon dioxide than non – GE trees, greatly contributing to climate change.
Additionally, GE trees require repeated and wide dousing of chemicals to eliminate pests and weeds, which furthers an industrial and chemically- driven approach to agriculture. This approach causes pollution to soil, waterways and air as well as heavy emissions of greenhouse gases.”

By: Kat Battaglia, Fellow, Green America’s Better Paper Project

Most consumers in the United States are now aware of genetically engineered foods, but far fewer realize that, beginning formally in 1988, biotech scientists have been working on the next frontier of genetic engineering: trees. While the biotech industry claims GE trees could be a natural solution to deforestation, it’s far more likely that a shift to GE monoculture forests, heavily dependent on chemical inputs, would further pollute our soil, air and waterways, and exacerbate the problems of climate change.

Not All Forests Are Created Equal

putney-vermont-waterfall-376793-o.jpgNatural forest in Putney Vermont

Natural forests are more than a collection of trees. They are rich, biodiverse habitats for millions of species of plants, animals, and microorganisms that are essential to life. Forests protect soil and waterways from pollution, and even protect humans from heart and respiratory diseases. Perhaps most miraculously, the earth’s…

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This entry was posted in Biodiversity, Gene flow, Genetic pollution, Genetically Engineered Trees, Monoculture, Shared posts from other blogs. Bookmark the permalink.

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