No GE Trees

Forest campaigners at the Brazilian Consulate in Melbourne today to call on Brazil to reject a proposal from FuturaGene, a biotechnology firm wholly owned by Brazilian pulp and paper company Suzano, that would see a massive commercial release of genetically engineered trees.

On April 9th the Brazilian Biosafety Commission (CTNBio) will meet to decide on FuturaGene's corporate request to begin large-scale planting of genetically engineered (GE) eucalyptus trees for pulp and the exploration of new markets for the production and export of wood pellets as biomass for energy production.

Eucalypts are not native to Brazil and industrial plantations of genetically modified eucalypts engineered for traits including rapid growth pose serious threats to native forests, biodiversity and regional food sovereignty. Massive industrial plantation monocultures of GE eucalypts will also dramatically increase water consumption and the application of pesticides and agrotoxins, damaging soil and water supplies and impacting on the health and livelihood of local communities.

The CTNBio meeting was originally scheduled for the 5th March but following the takeover of FuturaGene's operations by 1000 women of the Brazil Landless Workers' Movement earlier the same day, disruption of the meeting by activists from La Via Campesina and actions on four continents in the lead-up, the meeting was postponed.

(For details and footage of the occupations across Brazil which included the destruction of GE eucalyptus seedlings, visit www.globaljusticeecology.org/brazil-ctnbio-meeting-cancell…/ )

Now is the time to show solidarity with those still fighting in Brazil to protect their land, environment and livelihood from GE tree plantations and to keep the pressure on CTNBio to reject GE trees.

Friends of the Earth Melbourne is part of the global Stop GE Trees Campaign. For more information and the petition to reject GE trees visit: www.stopgetrees.org