Appearing on the Portland Public Access program, "A Growing Concern," Mark speaks about genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's) in general and more specifically to the fact that the USDA has reopened the comment period for their Environmental Assessment of ArborGen's proposal to plant 260,000 genetically engineered eucalyptus trees across the Southern U.S. Comments are needed by 18 February to oppose this dangerous and destructive plan. |
ArborGen plans to use these trees for bioenergy schemes under the false claim that they will help stop global warming.
Eucalyptus Frankentrees Threaten Southern U.S.
(Information from the Glboal Justice Ecology Project.)
Some of the impacts caused by eucalyptus plantations that now threaten the U.S. include:
� Widespread destruction of native forests: Australian Eucalyptus were introduced to California in the 1850s and these invasive aliens now grow throughout the state; more than 200 species have been introduced into the U.S. The cold-tolerance trait will allow the disaster of eucalyptus plantations to be expanded into regions that are too cold for conventional eucalyptus--including the U.S. South.
� Uncontrollable wildfires: Raging wildfires in Australia this year, made worse by drought, traveled over 60 miles an hour, devastating wildlife and killing 173 people. The1991 Oakland, CA firestorm, exacerbated by eucalyptus, cost $1.5 billion in damages.
� Loss of fresh water: Eucalyptus trees are fast-growing "water-suckers." They require tremendous amounts of water, threatening to worsen the drought already being experienced in areas of the Southern United States.
� Vast clearcutting of biodiverse forests to grow monoculture plantations of GE Eucalyptus clones;
� Silent forests: Wildlife that cannot use the Eucalyptus for habitat nor food will be lost. Endangered species will be threatened.
� Contamination of soils and groundwater with toxic pesticides used on the plantations, often aerially sprayed;
� Worsening of climate change through the destruction of carbon-rich native forests for carbon-poor plantations.
� Eucalyptus is a known host for the deadly pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus Gattii. Originally a tropical fungus, it was recently found around Pacific Northwest Eucalyptus groves, and can kill both humans and wildlife.
Des Marets asserts that, since these field trials are a concrete step toward unregulated commercial growing of dangerous GE eucalyptus, they must be rejected.
Besides the threat from these GE trees, Mark speaks at length about other threats and opportunities for the public to weigh in to oppose such genetically modified organisms as GE alfalfa and sugar beets.
Further information on this issue.
Click Here to sign on to the public comment letter.
Submit your own comments to the government.