[permaculture] Genetically Modified Forest Planned for U.S.Southeast

Robyn Francis erda at nor.com.au
Fri Feb 5 19:27:39 EST 2010


The doco is here on YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5rHZE9H7OA&feature=player_embedded
Robyn


On 6/02/10 7:44 AM, "fdnokes at hotmail.com" <fdnokes at hotmail.com> wrote:

> There is a stunning documentary on gmo and trees, the incredible devastation
> that we must envision not working.
> I haven't seen it.
> Think David Suzuki narrates.
> Silent Forest is the name, I believe.
> Fran
> 
> --------------------------------------------------
> From: "carolyn anderson" <cschampagne at gmail.com>
> Sent: Friday, February 05, 2010 10:01 AM
> To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Genetically Modified Forest Planned for
> U.S.Southeast
> 
>> sheesh.  is nothing sacred?
>> people are so dumb.
>> Hold the vision that it won't work.
>> 
>> Thanks for the heads up.
>> 
>> Carolyn
>> 
>> On Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 9:04 AM, mIEKAL aND <qazingulaza at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> Genetically Modified Forest Planned for U.S. Southeast
>>> 
>>> International Paper and MeadWestvaco are planning to transform
>>> plantation forests of the southeastern U.S. by replacing native pine
>>> with genetically engineered eucalyptus
>>> 
>>> By Paul Voosen
>>> 
>>> 
>>> http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=eucalyptus-genetically-modi
>>> fied-pine-tree-southwest-forest
>>> 
>>> PINE GONE: Native pine trees could be sent to pasture in place of
>>> eucalyptus, pictured here.
>>> ISTOCK/MALIKETH
>>> e-mail print comment
>>> 
>>> Genetic engineering is coming to the forests.
>>> 
>>> While the practice of splicing foreign DNA into food crops has become
>>> common in corn and soy, few companies or researchers have dared to
>>> apply genetic engineering to plants that provide an essential strut of
>>> the U.S. economy, trees.
>>> 
>>> But that will soon change. Two industry giants, International Paper
>>> Co. and MeadWestvaco Corp., are planning to transform plantation
>>> forests of the southeastern United States by replacing native pine
>>> with genetically engineered eucalyptus, a rapidly growing Australian
>>> tree that in its conventional strains now dominates the tropical
>>> timber industry.
>>> 
>>> The companies' push into genetically modified trees, led by their
>>> joint biotech venture, ArborGen LLC, looks to overcome several hurdles
>>> for the first time. Most prominently, they are banking on a
>>> controversial gene splice that restricts trees' ability to reproduce,
>>> meant to allay fears of bioengineered eucalyptus turning invasive and
>>> overtaking native forests.
>>> 
>>> If such a fertility control technology -- which has come under fire in
>>> farming for fear seed firms will exploit it -- is proven effective, it
>>> could open the door to many varieties of wild plants, including weedy
>>> grasses, to be genetically engineered for use in energy applications
>>> like biomass and next-generation biofuels without fear of
>>> invasiveness.
>>> 
>>> The use of such perennial plants -- so named because, unlike annual
>>> farm crops, they live and grow for many years -- has long interested
>>> business and government, including the Energy Department, which has
>>> collaborated with ArborGen. The plants, which include many grasses
>>> targeted for cellulosic ethanol, can be harvested when needed and,
>>> given their hardiness, grow on marginal land.
>>> 
>>> Yet many questions remain about the effectiveness of the fertility
>>> system used by ArborGen, which, according to leading scientists, has
>>> never been rigorously studied in multiyear trials to prove that it can
>>> effectively control plants' spread. More research must be conducted
>>> before such systems are relied upon to restrict pollen and seed
>>> spread, they say.
>>> 
>>> Despite these calls, ArborGen has been seeking government deregulation
>>> of its eucalyptus, which is primarily engineered to resist freezing
>>> temperatures, since 2008. If successful, ArborGen would likely
>>> revolutionize the timber industry and the Southern landscape by
>>> becoming the first company to roll out bioengineered trees on a
>>> massive scale, observers say.
>>> 
>>> In its rosiest scenarios, growers using ArborGen's presumably
>>> expensive seeds would see huge gains in productivity and become the
>>> preferred tree stock for a new generation of bioenergy refineries. The
>>> South would become the new Appalachia; timber would serve as its coal.
>>> Inklings of such progress have already arisen, including recent word
>>> that the German utility RWE AG would build the world's largest
>>> wood-pellet plant in Georgia to supplement its coal habits.
>>> 
>>> By adopting eucalyptus as a tree stock, the United States would simply
>>> be catching up with countries like Brazil, which has leveraged vast
>>> tree plantations in recent decades to pivot from a net wood importer
>>> to an exporter. While the South saw a rise in pine plantations during
>>> this time, pine cannot compete with eucalyptus for sheer growth rate,
>>> the company says.
>>> 
>>> "The United States is behind the game on this," said Les Pearson,
>>> ArborGen's director of regulatory affairs. "Lots of countries around
>>> the world have been growing eucalyptus for many decades."
>>> 
>>> Indeed, primarily because of competition from South America, demand
>>> for traditional American tree pulp has gone slack. This sagging
>>> industry could allow up to 10 million acres in the Southeast to be
>>> repurposed for fast-growing eucalyptuses, according to corporate
>>> estimates.
>>> 
>>> But it still remains unclear if the nascent bioenergy industry will be
>>> enough to make up for demand lost to Brazilian plantations, said
>>> Curtis Seltzer, a timber consultant who has studied ArborGen and calls
>>> its trees a "game changer."
>>> 
>>> "It's not clear to me that biomass will pick up the slack for the
>>> traditional markets [as they] ebb," Seltzer said. "But it could."
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> permaculture mailing list
>>> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>>> Subscribe or unsubscribe here:
>>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
>>> Google command to search archives:
>>> site: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture searchstring
>>> More information:
>>> http://venaurafarm.blogspot.com
>>> 
>>> 
>> _______________________________________________
>> permaculture mailing list
>> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>> Subscribe or unsubscribe here:
>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
>> Google command to search archives:
>> site: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture searchstring
>> More information:
>> http://venaurafarm.blogspot.com
>> 
>> 
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subscribe or unsubscribe here:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> Google command to search archives:
> site: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture searchstring
> More information:
> http://venaurafarm.blogspot.com
> 





More information about the permaculture mailing list