World Rainforest Movement

Genetically Modified Trees

The main focus of genetic engineering research has been on forcing some naturally-occurring genes to be overactive, silencing others, or inserting genes from one species into another. The objectives are many, for example, pulp producers look forward to create eucalyptus and pine varieties with a lower lignin content, while biomass tree producers for energy purposes look for a higher lignin content. Also, increasing trees’ pest or drought resistance is a purpose for GE techniques. One of the main risks of these techniques is biological contamination through pollination, allowing the spread over longdistances via air. One of the biggest problems is the unreliable science of the process of manipulating genes itself: our current understanding of what genes do and how life is formed, as well as of how genes behave when transplanted to other species, is very limited.


Articles from the WRM Bulletin

Books and Briefings


Other Relevant Information


  • Impacts of monoculture tree plantations

    Posted on September 27, 2019

    Testimonies from the meeting “Threats and Impacts of Genetically Engineered Trees (GE-trees) Monoculture”, that took place in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in April 2019.

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  • What are GE-trees?

    Posted on September 27, 2019

    Anne Petermann, coordinator of the global Stop GE-Trees Campaign, explains what Genetically Engineered trees are, the risks, uncertainties and context.

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