AP: Just because companies have lots of money, huge PR machines and know how to play dirty, that does not make them impenetrable. We have on our side decades of experience with the dangers of GMOs--with several damning new studies coming out in 2014. Scientists are pushing back in other ways too, countering the nonsense argumentthat there is some kind of scientific consensus that GMOs are safe by launching a website to the contrary. Hundreds of scientists are signed onto this anti-GMO effort.
And of course there is public opinion. The public has historically been staunchly opposed to GE trees. The UN Food and Agriculture did a report in 2006 where they interviewed GE trees researchers about their main concerns about GE trees. Public opinion was the most often cited concern. The second most cited concern was GE tree contamination threats. People are getting involved all the time in our work to stop GE trees. In October, there was a conference of Indigenous Peoples against GE trees. Additionally, GE trees have not been approved for commercial-scale planting anywhere in the world except for China. This means we can still stop these things before our forests are irreversibly contaminated by GE trees. Before it is too late. People can get involved by going to http://nogetrees.orgor http://stopgetrees.org.
JB: Helpful and encouraging. Anything you'd like to add before we wrap this up?
AP: Only that we need people to get involved. While the possible approval of the GE chestnut may be a few years away, the USDA is already considering a petition by ArborGen to sell billions of GE eucalyptus seedlings. People can help by signing our petition demanding this petition be rejected. That petition can be found here.
In 2013, hundreds of residents and activists protested and disrupted the Tree Biotechnology 2013 conference in Asheville, NC
(Image by Anne Petermann/Global Justice Ecology Project) Permission Details DMCA
JB: Thanks so much for filling us in on this, Anne. It was a pleasure talking with you. I learned a lot.
***This Holiday Season say NO to GMO Chestnuts