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Posts Tagged ‘environment’

President Obama: Climate Change

Monday, June 24th, 2013

President Obama lays out his vision for the steps we need to take to prepare our country for the impacts of climate change and lead the global effort to fight it. In the video below, he describes why this is the time to take action.

Learn more about climate change and global warming.

Genetically Engineered Crops

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

What the Farm Aid Organization has to say about GMO food:

With a new mission to squash “burdensome” regulation and play nice with U.S. businesses, the Obama Administration has been in a frenzy green-lighting genetically engineered (GE) crops.

Just weeks into the new year, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the full deregulation of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa—a genetically engineered crop variety designed to withstand Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. The move gave the OK for commercial planting to take place this spring without restrictions. A week later, USDA announced the deregulation of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar beets, followed by the deregulation of Syngenta’s Enogen corn, a variety genetically engineered for biofuel production. Meanwhile, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is now considering the commercial release of genetically modified salmon.

With a new onslaught of GE products hitting the market it’s no wonder the public has some questions, as you do, Jerry. So, what’s the big deal about genetic engineering?

The short and not-so-sweet of it is this: GE crops present real risks, fewer choices for both farmers and eaters and offer unclear benefits except to the companies that develop and market them, and thus pocket major profits.

Risky Business for Farmers
One of the biggest problems GE crops have presented in the real world is the contamination of non-GE crops. The newest wave of deregulated GE crops presents a very real risk that such contamination will happen again.

Take alfalfa, which is pollinated by bees. Bees can generally cover a five-mile range as they buzz from plant to plant, collecting and spreading pollen. Since bees don’t tend to observe property lines or fences, GE alfalfa pollen could, for example, be spread to and pollinate a non-GE alfalfa plant, in turn contaminating a neighboring field with GE genes.

This cross-fertilization would be especially disastrous for organic farmers. If organic fields are contaminated, an organic farmer’s certification is at risk, since the use of GE crops is prohibited under the organic label. Losing organic certification would mean his or her goods can no longer be sold for the premium price that helps cover the higher costs of growing organically. Organic livestock farmers would face similar consequences if their cattle consumed contaminated alfalfa, and the organic industry as a whole could suffer from severe supply problems if organic alfalfa can’t be maintained with integrity. Canada’s organic canola industry suffered this fate, and is virtually extinct due to contamination from GE canola.[1]

GE contamination hurts conventional farmers too. A prime example occurred in 2000, when genes from Aventis’ StarLink GE corn showed up unexpectedly in the nation’s food supply and U.S. export markets. While StarLink corn only represented 1% of planted corn acreage, it ultimately contaminated at least 25% of the harvest that year.[2] Traces of StarLink corn also showed up in taco shells, even though the variety wasn’t approved for human consumption. The fiasco led to a massive recall of over 300 food products. Export markets started rejecting American corn and corn prices plummeted.[3] Corn farmers ultimately filed a class-action lawsuit against Aventis, who forked over $112 million in settlement. Three years later, StarLink genetics were still detected in the U.S. corn supply, well after the crop was pulled from the market.[4] Millers and food manufacturers are concerned the same thing will happen with Syngenta’s Enogen corn intended for biofuel production, which could contaminate corn for human consumption and seriously threaten foods processed with corn–based ingredients.

USDA recognized such risks when it conducted an environmental impact statement (EIS) for GE alfalfa. This past December, Secretary Vilsack acknowledged “the potential of cross-fertilization to non-GE alfalfa from GE alfalfa — a significant concern for farmers who produce for non-GE markets at home and abroad.”[5] Despite such concern, USDA approved the planting of GE alfalfa for this spring without any indication of how it will prevent the type of costly contamination that threatens to occur.

Into the Wild: “Superweeds” and other environmental hazards
In addition to the very real risks of GE-contamination, there are numerous accounts of superweeds developing from the overuse of Roundup herbicide on Roundup Ready crops. Fifteen years after Roundup Ready corn and soy first debuted, there are now at least 10 species of Roundup-resistant weeds identified in more than 22 states, as well as superweeds sprouting up in Australia, China and Brazil.[6]

Superweeds undermine the environmental benefits that GE crops are claimed to offer by reducing soil tillage, pesticide applications and soil and water contamination.[7] Affected farmers must now resort to more toxic chemicals, increased labor or more intense tillage of their fields to address superweeds on their farms. The newly approved Roundup Ready alfalfa and sugar beets will only exacerbate that problem. And as companies like Bayer, Syngenta and Dow Chemical work on their own pesticide-resistant crops (including one designed to resist 2,4-D, a component of Agent Orange!),[8] even nastier superweeds may be on the horizon, with even nastier pesticides being used to control them in the ever-escalating arms race against weeds and pests.

GE crops pose additional environment risks, such as threats to biodiversity or unintentional harm to other insects and animals in the ecosystem, many of which are beneficial to crop production. But remember, there’s absolutely no recall on GE genetics. Once they’re out there, they’re out there for good. What’s more, once a crop is fully deregulated, USDA currently conducts no monitoring of any kind to see if a GE crop has harmed the environment.[9] To date, we are completely unequipped to deal with all of these consequences. (For more on how GE crops are regulated, see this Ask Farm Aid column from 2009).

Do I eat GE foods?
What does all this mean for eaters? Do we eat GE foods? The quick answer is: almost certainly.

Remember that the vast majority of our corn and soy come from GE seed, and that these crops are generally used as feed for cattle, hogs and poultry, or otherwise used in the many processed foods found in grocery store aisles. Alfalfa is the fourth largest crop grown in the U.S. and is most commonly used to feed dairy cows and beef cattle.

So, if you drink milk, eat beef, enjoy the occasional slice of bacon with your breakfast, order chicken in your Caesar salad or ever indulge in processed foods, cereals and desserts with ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and soy lecithin, GE crops are part of your food chain. Unfortunately, you can’t be sure when you eat them or in what form, because there is no requirement to label foods with GE ingredients. As discussed above, the release of GE alfalfa also puts several organic foods at risk for contamination—further eroding our choice as consumers to avoid GE foods if we wish.

Little research has been conducted to examine whether GE foods present risks to human health—such as allergens or toxins—but it seems prudent that this be investigated rigorously before GE foods hit the market. Many countries, including countries of the European Union, Japan, Australia and Brazil, have banned the cultivation of GE crops or require labeling of GE foods as precautions.

Feeding the World? The Silver Bullet That Misses the Target
Defenders of GE crops argue they are desperately needed to feed the world’s ever-growing population and address world hunger. Some have accused critics of GE technology as being shortsighted Luddites at best, and irresponsible at worst.

But to date, GE crops have done little to address hunger worldwide—yield results have been mixed globally, and are nominal for America’s family farmers. A recent study of historical yield data in the U.S. found that herbicide-resistant genetics in GE corn and soy didn’t increase yield any more than conventional methods.[10] Perhaps more importantly, the GE varieties hitting the market aren’t focused on yield in the first place. Developing a crop for herbicide resistance or biofuel production is quite different than selecting for plant traits that encourage plant growth, drought resistance or other traits that would actually help address food security worldwide. Moreover, companies haven’t invested their dollars in the staple crops of food insecure populations worldwide, such as millet, quinoa or cassava. We will need much more than Roundup Ready alfalfa to solve world hunger.

The Seedier Side of GE: Who Benefits
So if farmers, eaters, the environment and the world’s undernourished won’t appreciably benefit from the government’s recent GE green-lighting parade, who will?

Most GE crops hitting the market are developed by multinational companies such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Dupont and Dow Chemical to increase their sales and push their related pesticides. For example, Roundup Ready crops are all engineered to withstand Monsanto’s toxic herbicide Roundup. With Roundup Ready alfalfa and sugar beets on the market, Monsanto can expect increased profits from its new seeds, as well as increased sales of Roundup herbicide to douse all those new seeds.

GE crops are also patented, which grants several privileges to corporate seed giants. For example, companies have repeatedly restricted independent research on the risks and benefits of GE products, which is perfectly legal under patent law, but severely limits objective examination of the efficacy and safety of GE crops.[11] If that weren’t bad enough, patents have given companies the power to pursue lawsuits against farmers for illegally “possessing” patented GE plants without a license. Monsanto has famously sued thousands of individual farmers for patent infringement when their fields were contaminated with GE genes.[12]

With the power to own and patent genetics, seed companies can demand even more control over the market as a whole. The seed industry has suffered enormous concentration of power in the past few decades, with at least 200 independent seed companies exiting the market in the last fifteen years and four companies now controlling over 50% of the market. This consolidation means farmers have far fewer options for seed varieties. Meanwhile, farmers have seen the sharpest rise in seed prices during the period in which GE crops rose in prominence.[13]

In this sense, the deregulation of new GE varieties comes as a slap in the face to the farmers and eaters who put their trust in the USDA and Department of Justice as they examined antitrust abuses in our food system this past year, including specific investigations into Monsanto and the seed industry. The newest wave of GE products will only further corporate control over our food supply, putting the interests of corporations far before the needs of farmers and eaters.

The bottom line?
Surely, this is a lot to take in. Genetic engineering is a complicated topic, with a broad set of consequences for our society. There are many questions left unanswered about how GE will impact farmers and eaters, and even less clarity about how these impacts will be managed.

Until our regulatory system and the biotech companies themselves properly address the risks inherent in GE crops, farmers and eaters have a right to reject them. Releasing GE crops into the fields without mitigating their risks is gambling with our health, our environment and livelihoods of family farmers.

Planet Vital Signs: Climate Change

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

More news ›


Monday, March 18th, 2013

The President on energy:

Few areas hold more promise for creating good jobs and growing our economy than how we use American energy, and today President Obama visited the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois to talk about the progress we are seeing from his all of the above approach to energy independence and the risk that this important sector faces from the arbitrary cuts being imposed by the so-called sequester.

As President Obama noted in his remarks, these cuts do not distinguish between wasteful programs and vital investments. “They don’t trim the fat; they cut into muscle and into bone,” the President said. “Like research and development being done right here that not only gives a great place for young researchers to come and ply their trade, but also ends up creating all kinds of spinoffs that create good jobs and good wages.”

Because of the sequester, American labs could face two years without starting new research, opportunities we cannot afford to miss. This comes at a time when this country is poised to take control of our energy future, as the President pointed out:

After years of talking about it, we’re finally poised to take control of our energy future. We produce more oil than we have in 15 years. We import less oil than we have in 20 years. We’ve doubled the amount of renewable energy that we generate from sources like wind and solar — with tens of thousands of good jobs to show for it. We’re producing more natural gas than we ever have before — with hundreds of thousands of good jobs to show for it. We supported the first new nuclear power plant in America since the 1970s. And we’re sending less carbon pollution into the environment than we have in nearly 20 years.

In addition to the balanced solution he has proposed to replace the painful cuts, a phased-in approach that includes smart spending cuts, entitlement reforms and new revenue, and that won’t hurt the middle class or slow economic growth, President Obama today talked about his proposal to create an Energy Security Trust. The proposed trust uses revenue generated by oil and gas development on federal lands to support new research and technology that will shift our cars and trucks off of oil for good. The recent rise in gas prices is a reminder that we are still too reliant on oil, which comes at a cost to American families and businesses, and the President today urged Congress to take up his common-sense proposals that will further reduce our dependence on oil, better protect consumers from spikes in gas prices, and reduce pollution.

Wasting Energy Is Cents-less

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

by the Environmental Defense Fund

In his State of the Union address, President Obama announced the goal of cutting energy waste in buildings and homes in half over the next 20 years. House Speaker John Boehner clapped approvingly. U.S. buildings and homes waste so much energy that a 50% reduction of such energy waste would save businesses and individuals billions of dollars, would deliver healthier air to all Americans and would put us on the path of energy independence. Most of our energy comes from burning fossil fuels; so, consuming less fossil fuel will reduce toxic emissions and improve air quality. Cleaner air will save lives. Studies estimate that over 35,000 Americans die every year due to air pollution related illnesses.

Cutting energy waste in half won’t just happen on its own, though, and it won’t be easy. We need to identify the opportunities where we can eliminate energy waste, and then invest in the types of technologies that lead to more energy efficient buildings and homes. The good news is that these modern, cost-effective technologies are available now.

Clearly, opening windows when a building is overheated is not the solution. For example, building owners will need to invest in control technologies that cut overheating and turn off lights and equipment when not needed. These are smart energy efficiency investments with typically short pay-back periods. And, in reducing the energy we waste, we improve our quality of life with more money in our pockets and fresher air in our lungs.

Finally, let’s not forget about the environmental impacts of energy exploration, which is another reason why we shouldn’t waste the energy that was so hard to get out of the ground in the first place. The actual extraction of fossil fuels is the second biggest source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and – if developed irresponsibly – can pollute our water, air and oceans — jeopardizing our health, livelihoods and quality of life. When you consider the whole range of health and environmental impacts involved with using, and (of course) wasting, energy –it is blatantly obvious that wasting energy is already coming back to hurt us.

If Washington can agree that wasting energy is senseless, let’s keep the momentum going and support smart efforts, policies and investment tools that will help energy efficiency reach its full potential. Cutting energy waste is a win for our wallets, our health and our children’s’ future.

Oppose Any Copenhagen UN Climate Change Agreement

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech today, President Obama asserted:

“[T]he world must come together to confront climate change.”

President Obama will be attending the Copenhagen UN climate change conference on December 18 where he will be an active participant “as [in the words of ‘The White House Blog’ for Dec. 10] the global community, with the United States in a leading role, works towards securing the strongest possible outcome in Copenhagen.”

Lisa Jackson, United States EPA Administrator, is already in Copenhagen making promises to work with Congress to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

“We will work closely with our Congress to pass comprehensive clean energy reform through the U.S. Congress … and lowering U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% below current levels by 2050.”

If you oppose U.S. participation in a new UN climate change agreement which would lead to a loss of U.S. sovereignty, costly “climate debt” payments to developing nations, economy-destroying caps on greenhouse gas emissions, and further empowerment of the UN as a world government, then contact your representative and senators and tell them to oppose any Copenhagen UN climate change agreement.


Your friends at The John Birch Society

Obama White House Issues EPA TAX Threat!

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Obama White House Issues EPA TAX Threat!
The Obama White House has threatened that the EPA will dictate command and control measures AKA socialism to by-pass Congress. Triggering a set of legal responsibilities and obligations to control emissions as well as an arsenal of options and powers to regulate CO2 including increasing taxes and penalties if you do not comply.

The Obama “Green Energy Tax” plan is worse than the “Regressive Cap-and-Trade” legislation is that Congress calls “the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009,” which taxes every single person in America. Every time anyone flips on a light switch under “Cap and Trade,” some tax dollars are collected.

But the Obama “Green Energy Tax” plan doubles the price of your electric bill immediately with the tax money going straight to Obama and the Federal Government. Obama is taking Congress out of the loop so he doesn’t have to face political reality – that’s YOU and ME! He’s getting the EPA to do his dirty work!

FAX Obama And All 100 Senators – STOP Obama’s CLIMATE TREATY!

Obama – EPA & UN Lie About Global Warming

Global Warming Scientists Are Manipulating And Suppressing Data To Fabricate Global Warming Hysteria.

Carbon Dioxide DOES NOT Cause Global Warming!
Data clearly shows that global temperatures are decreasing even as Carbon Dioxide levels are increasing.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) GW Data
The UN IPCC’s predicted warming path (pink region) bears no relation to the global cooling data that the IPCC has observed in the 21st century to date.

Just two weeks ago an unknown entity hacked into the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia servers and uncovered irrefutable proof that Global Warming Scientists were manipulating and suppressing data to fabricate the Global Warming Hysteria. Many have called this ClimateGate – The final nail in the coffin of Global Warming.

Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency declared Monday that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are a threat to public health and welfare. Even as Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla ordered an investigation into the Environmental Protection Agency’s alleged suppression of a 98-page report, co-authored by EPA analyst Alan Carlin that questioned the science behind global warming.

Obama’s EPA action is a threat to every American family and business and it leads to regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

The suppressed EPA report details how regulating gases like carbon dioxide WILL NOT reduce global warming. Carlin’s report states that the information the EPA is using is out of date, and that even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased, global temperatures have declined.

Inhofe said “He (Carlin) came out with the truth. They don’t want the truth at the EPA,” he’s ordered an investigation. “We’re going to expose it.”

Meanwhile in Coppenhagen so called scientists perpetuated the Global Warming lie saying this decade is set to be the warmest on record. Ignoring their own UN data and the truth that for seven and a half years global temperatures have been falling rapidly.

Obama Is Forcing A Green Tax DISASTER ON ALL Americans!!

FAX Obama And All 100 Senators – STOP Obama’s CLIMATE TREATY!

Obama will dictate a 17% reduction below 2005 emission levels by 2020 and a 30% by 2025. The problem is there is no plan on how to accomplish this goal without rationing energy and punitively taxing Americans. Furthermore, there is no scientific reason to undertake these goals.

A President with America’s best interests would attend the conference to demand integrity, honesty and dignity from the scientific community and rebuke the false findings and junk science that has dictated so much of our energy and environmental policies for the last decade. – Barack Obama is not a President with America’s best interest at heart.

Now that Obama has bowed is head subserviently to dictators and royalty, he intends to sign a provisional carbon emissions target which would bring America to its knees.

December’s Climate Treaty is happening now, Obama is in the Copenhagen Climate Conference on December 8 and 9, 2009. He is not there to serve America’s interest. He is going to Copenhagen to save the Climate agenda and to announce his pledge that American businesses and citizens will reduce emissions by force if necessary.

This is where I need your help IMMEDIATELY!

FAX Obama And All 100 Senators – STOP Obama’s CLIMATE TREATY!

Through your fax blasts and your giving, the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise (CDFE) can greatly assist the disruption of such a disastrous decision! If Obama, Al Gore, and their cronies have their way, we will be ratifying this “greenhouse debacle” within days.

Now that Barack Obama has bowed is head subserviently to dictators and royalty, he intends to sign a provisional carbon emissions target which would bring America to its knees.

Obama will dictate a 17% reduction below 2005 emission levels by 2020 and a 30% by 2025. The problem is there is no plan on how to accomplish this goal without rationing energy and punitively taxing Americans. Furthermore, there is no scientific reason to undertake these goals.

A President with America’s best interests would attend the conference to demand integrity, honesty and dignity from the scientific community and rebuke the false findings and junk science that has dictated so much of our energy and environmental policies for the last decade. – Barack Obama is not a President with America’s best interest at heart.


We have prepared special faxes (see below) to be sent to President Obama and every Member of Congress. Let’s put the brakes on this very bad blow to our American free enterprise system. Will you assist the CDFE today?

All the G20 nations know perfectly well that “adaptation” to global warming would destroy their economies! It is my hope that someone, anyone who is a key insider adviser to President Obama, will let him know!

The last United Nations negotiating session before next month’s Copenhagen summit on climate change has ended in Spain, yet there is no agreement yet. There is still a change for good to win over evil.

Unfortunately, most Americans are uninformed about this climate change issue. You see, that is one of the main reasons why we exist—to use research and education to PROPERLY INFORM Americans on these free enterprise matters. Unfortunately, this treaty is a matter of life and death to us as a sovereign nation. In 1776 the United States was formed as a completely sovereign nation.

We must do everything within our power
to keep that sovereignty!!
This takeover of our sovereignty amounts to real TREASON!!

The Copenhagen Climate Treaty has two basic objectives:
* Prescribe energy use and consumption to the “haves”!!
* Shift wealth from the “haves” to the “have nots”!!
The accomplishment of these two objectives amounts to outright socialism at best-and global totalitarianism at worst. Both are NOT a win-win!!

Obama stands ready to sign the treaty!

That’s why our Senators must hear from us right away!

FAX Obama And All 100 Senators – STOP Obama’s CLIMATE TREATY!

Copenhagen can lead to a significant political agreement, but if it happens it will be a major disaster for the developed world, with the United States the biggest loser, since it would bankrupt the nation to bribe poor countries into surrendering their own development.

Insiders at the negotiating session in Spain said the missing ingredient – even more than the absence of agreement on targets, money and technology – was trust.

But treaty organizers are determined to have it pass. And with the help of our U. S. Senators and President Obama, it will! Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg said at the close of the Spain session, “There will be a deal in Copenhagen, that’s quite clear. We won’t solve the problem in Copenhagen, but there will be progress.”

It is up to you and I to STOP THAT PROGRESS!

Part of the Copenhagen Climate Treaty unbelievably reads: “Industrialized countries have a dual obligation under the Treaty, representing their overall responsibility for keeping the world within limits of the global carbon budget and ensuring that adaption to the impacts of climate change is possible for the most vulnerable.


Yes, that means we are giving away a part of our great country’s sovereignty!

If all elements of the Treaty (which hardly anyone knows a lot about!!) were to be voted in place, this December, it would establish a GLOBAL GOVERNMENT for the first time in history!!

This tyranny must come to a screeching HALT!

It is time for YOU to choose: tyranny or freedom?

FAX Obama And All 100 Senators – STOP Obama’s CLIMATE TREATY!

Here is precisely how this Copenhagen Climate Treaty will adversely affect you:
* Double digit inflation as a result of all goods and materials becoming much more expensive
* Raise the deficit through increased borrowing by our Treasury
* Transfer economic growth and profits from the United States to lesser-prepared countries
* Delay the recovery of the United States, which will affect EVERY SEGMENT of our society
* Increased U. S. manufacturing job loss through new cap and trade laws
* Be even more in debt to communist China
* Increase your state and federal taxes
* Regulation of personal spending on energy by law and high prices
* Move away from the U.S. Dollar to a One-World currency
* Increased costs per gallon of gas

And yet, too few Americans have ever researched this subject at all! Or, they’ve seen Al Gore interviewed on some television program; and believe all the “doom and gloom” that he professes.

You thought that Obama’s “Healthcare Reform” was the most important issue. Lord knows, we’ve lived through all the debates these past few months—and months to come! YET&..

If we do not stand firm against Obama and the U. S. Senate ratifying this Copenhagen Treaty, YOU may be enslaved to a new Green World Order! This will not wait until someone else is president. This will not even wait until the elections of 2010. We are facing devastation next month!

FAX Obama And All 100 Senators – STOP Obama’s CLIMATE TREATY!

Let your voice, fax and check book be heard!

Even though President Obama pledged his allegiance to uphold the Constitution at his inauguration, his actions have not meshed with what can happen, literally, next month!

The U. S. Constitution dictates that treaty ratification must have approval votes by a TWO-THIRDS majority in the U. S. Senate.


Act now! Don’t delay.

We will be looking for your urgent fax to the President and every U. S. Senator.

The nation you save will be your own.


Ron Arnold
Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise

P.S. I cannot underscore how important this issue really is. Do not let our President or our Senators SELL US OUT under the mis-guidance of helping other under-developed countries. The United States is the most generous and compassionate nation on earth already. If we allow our sovereignty to be destroyed, we will no longer have the ability to continue and increase our generous aid programs – or even feed our own people!

FAX Obama And All 100 Senators – STOP Obama’s CLIMATE TREATY!

Or SEND your donation to:

Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise
Dept Code – 3347
12500 NE 10th Place
Bellevue, WA 98005

The Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise is a non-partisan education and research organization which works on free enterprise studies, public policy research, book publishing, conferences, white papers, and media outreach. We are a tax-exempt educational organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Tax Code. The Center was founded in 1976 and has been exempt since 1977. The Center does not seek or accept government funds. Contributions to the Center are tax deductible.

The Invasion of Genetically-Engineered Eucalyptus

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

By Jim Hightower
August 6, 2009
Straight to the Source

Here’s a great idea: Let’s bring into our country a genetically-engineered, non-native tree that is known to be wildly invasive, explosively flammable, and insatiably thirsty for ground water. Then let’s clone thousands of these living firecrackers and plant them in forested regions across seven Southern states, allowing them to grow, flower, produce seeds, and spread into native environments.

Yes, this would be irresponsible, dangerous, and stupid – but apparently “Irresponsible, Dangerous, and Stupid” is the unofficial slogan of the U.S. Department Agriculture. In May, with little consideration of the devastating consequences for our native environment, USDA cavalierly rubberstamped a proposal by a profiteering corporation named ArborGen to do all of the above.

Substantially owned by International Paper, ArborGen shipped tissue from Brazilian eucalyptus trees to its New Zealand laboratories, where it was genetically altered to have more cellulose. New Zealand, however, outlaws plantings of genetically-engineered crops, so ArborGen sought out a more corporate-compliant country: Ours. The engineered eucalyptus was waved right into the good ol’ USA to be cloned, and it’s now awaiting final approval for outdoor release in our land.

This has happened with practically no media coverage or public participation. It is happening solely because a handful of global speculators hope to profit by making ethanol from cellulose-enhanced eucalyptus – never mind that their self-aggrandizement would put America’s native forests in danger of irreversible contamination by these destructive, invasive Frankentrees.

Luckily, several scrappy grassroots groups have mobilized to bring common sense and public pressure to bear on USDA. For updates and action items, visit www.nogetrees.org.

“Public Overwhelmingly Rejects Genetically Engineered Trees,” Stop GE Trees Campaign, July 16, 2009.

Please click here to take action against ArborGen’s plan to plant 260,000 franken-trees.