World Rainforest Movement

Genetically Modified Trees. The ultimate threat to forests

The debate on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) has until now largely focused on agricultural crops and much less on genetically modified trees. This is understandable, given the fact that there are already several GM crops being commercially grown in many places of the world and given that many of them are aimed at directly or indirectly feeding human beings, whose health is thus potentially threatened.

However, that does not mean that GM trees are less dangerous. On the contrary, the dangers posed by GM trees are in some ways even more serious than those posed by GM crops.

In spite of the uncertainties and potential risks, forestry scientists are busily playing with genes to “improve” trees. Of course, what they do in reality is to change some of the trees’ characteristics to better serve the interests of those that fund their research, in order to improve the profitability of the businesses involved.

The fact is that genetically engineering trees constitutes a further step forward … in the wrong direction. Apart from generating new risks and uncertainties, GM tree plantations will exacerbate the existing impacts of large scale tree monocultures.

The aim of this book is to provide information and analysis-sharing on the GM trees issue and to thus serve as a tool for people who are trying to steer the world in the right direction. Another world is possible … and GM trees are not part of it.

Genetically Modified Trees. The ultimate threat to forests