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Sun Nov 10, 2013, 03:04 PM

Genetically engineered trees under USDA consideration could harm environment - report

As the US Department of Agriculture considers whether to authorize the unrestricted planting of genetically engineered Eucalyptus trees experts are warning that such a policy would not only be unnatural, but negatively impact the environment.

The GE tree is primarily developed by ArborGen, a biotechnology corporation that has been met with protests in recent months, to provide materials to create paper and the wood pellets that fuel power plants around the world. Despite the trees’ propensity for cooler climates, ArborGen has sought to promote the trees’ growth in the south eastern US under the notion that they will help the environment sustain itself.

Yet a new report from the Center for Food Safety titled “Genetically Engineered Trees: The New Frontier of Biotechnology” details how GE trees could increase greenhouse gas emission and reduce biodiversity.

“Commercializing GE trees could be devastating to the environment,” Debbie Barker, international program director for the Center for Food Safety, told Eco Watch. “Factory forests’ will accelerate and expand large-scale, chemical-intensive, monoculture plantations. We need to understand the risks in order to determine if GE trees are a sustainable way forward or a dangerous diversion.”


http://rt.com/usa/genetically-engineered-usda-harm-environment-404/

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Reply Genetically engineered trees under USDA consideration could harm environment - report (Original post)
jakeXT Nov 2013 OP
Demeter Nov 2013 #1
jakeXT Nov 2013 #3
hunter Nov 2013 #2
GreenPartyVoter Nov 2013 #4

Response to jakeXT (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 03:52 PM

1. I thought Eucalyptus trees poisoned the soil

 

rather like yews. Not a desirable trait!

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Response to Demeter (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 04:00 PM

3. I knew that about walnut, but not about eucalyptus

The black walnut (Juglans nigra) produces the allelochemical juglone, which affects some species greatly while others not at all. The leaf litter and root exudates of some Eucalyptus [21] species are allelopathic for certain soil microbes and plant species.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allelopathy


Though grown primarily for its wood and nuts, black walnuts are often found growing on landscape sites where they serve primarily as shade trees. When certain other landscape plants are planted near or under this shade tree they tend to yellow, wilt and die. This decline occurs because the walnut tree produces a non-toxic, colorless chemical called hydrojuglone. Hydrojuglone is found in leaves, stems, fruit hulls, inner bark and roots. When exposed to air or soil compounds, hydrojuglone is oxidized into the allelochemical juglone, which is highly toxic.
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/staff/rbir/blackwalnutcompanions.html

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Response to jakeXT (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 03:57 PM

2. Eucalyptus trees are a highly flammable and invasive species here in California.

Not much grows under them but poison oak.

Wildlife much prefers oaks and pines.

Using wood for power and paper production is a bad idea anyways.

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Response to jakeXT (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2013, 06:03 PM

4. Industrial hemp would be the better solution.

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