First Documentary on Genetically Engineered Trees Released
Dangers of Genetic Engineering in Forestry Explained
- Narrated by Dr. David Suzuki
- Produced by Three Americas, Inc. and Raindancer Films
- Directed by Ed Schehl
ALSO: Biotech Companies Move to Commercialize Genetically Engineered Trees
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 10, 2005
CONTACT: Dr. Neil Carman, Sierra Club 512-288-5772
Anne Petermann, Global Justice Ecology Project 802-482-2689/ (mobile) 802-578-0477
Hinesburg, - Global Justice Ecology Project and the STOP GE Trees Campaign announced the release of 'A Silent Forest: The Growing Threat, Genetically Engineered Trees', a 45 minute documentary narrated by Dr. David Suzuki, renowned geneticist and host of PBS' 'The Nature of Things'.
In 'A Silent Forest', Dr. Suzuki confronts the rush to commercialize the unproven products of biotechnology: "In any revolutionary area [of science], and biotechnology is a revolutionary area, most of our current ideas are wrong. Then I ask you, what the hell is the rush to apply these ideas? We're still at the very beginning of understanding what weÃre doing. The rush to apply these ideas is absolutely dangerous because we don't have a clue what the long term impacts of our manipulations is going to be."
"At the same time that corporations such as Arborgen, the company at the forefront of genetic engineering in trees, are preparing to begin selling dangerous and unproven genetically engineered trees, 'A Silent Forest' sends a powerful message about the dangers posed by this type of manipulation," stated Orin Langelle, Coordinator of the STOP GE Trees Campaign. The STOP GE Trees Campaign is an alliance of thirteen U.S. and Canada organizations, including the Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network, Dogwood Alliance, Southern Forests Network and others opposed to genetically engineered trees.
The biotechnology industry has been focusing recently on stacking the legal deck in their favor. During the past year, in response to grassroots campaigns for GE-Free zones, the industry has been working to establish pre-emptive state laws that prohibit local governments from regulating GE plants.
Genetically engineered trees have the potential to transfer pollen for hundreds of miles carrying genes for traits including insect resistance, herbicide resistance, sterility and reduced lignin. They have the potential to impact wildlife as well as rural and indigenous communities that depend on intact forests for their food, shelter, water, livelihood and cultural practices.
"Genetically engineered trees are being developed with almost no research on the inevitable negative impacts- we know they will rapidly contaminate natural forests with engineered characteristics," added Alyx Perry, Coordinator of the Southern Forests Network. "There is almost no public debate about genetic engineering in forestry, and our federal agencies have taken a facilitative rather than regulatory approach. Public agencies are supporting the development of this technology with little regard for the public's interest."
The video is available for purchase at http://www.customflix.com/207574