Genetically Engineered Trees Condemned in Myrtle Beach

Region known as “Ground Zero” for Development of GE TREES

For Immediate Release – 21 October 2016

genetically engineered trees, tree plantations, monoculture, biodiversity, natural forests

ArborGen Loblolly pine plantation, South Carolina. Photo Credit: BJ McManama

North Myrtle Beach, SC– In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, which made landfall only days before, strategies to stop the development of genetically engineered trees (GE trees) were the topic at a meeting that brought Indigenous Peoples, scientists, ecologists, and legal, social and environmental justice experts to North Myrtle Beach over October 12-18.

GE trees would threaten forests and communities throughout the U.S. Southeast–known by activists as “ground zero” for the development of GE trees.

Global Justice Ecology Project, Biofuelwatch and the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), all members of the North American Coordinating Committee against GE Trees (NACC), organized the meeting. Groups from across the region and the country took part in the meeting [1], including participants from several new organizations: ActionAid, Hip Hop Caucus, Beyond Toxics and Heartwood.

Brenda Jo McManama, Save Our Roots campaign organizer for IEN made it clear that, “For Indigenous Peoples there is no question that forcefully altering the molecular makeup of any organism creates an unnatural and unpredictable relationship within the ecosystems in which they are inserted. This meeting was an intersection between science and Indigenous knowledge and solidified our contention that manipulating elements of the natural world is not the solution we should be concentrating on to mitigate climate change or to replace fossil fuels for our energy needs. These false solutions are created to industrialize the natural world and will continue to destroy the regenerative biodiversity that has sustained the human race since the beginning of time.”

Topics included the exploitation of migrant labor for industrial tree plantations promoted by South Carolina based GE tree company ArborGen [2], the dangerous impacts of toxic herbicides and pesticides used in tree plantations, and the links between GE trees, biomass energy and worsening climate change.

Read more at Intercontinental Cry Magazine: Genetically Engineered Trees Condemned in Myrtle Beach