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Frankenforests: GE trees threaten ecosystem collapse

August 3, 2007
clipped from www.alternet.org

Across the U.S. and the world, the timber industry is driving research behind genetically engineered forests. But environmentalists worry that it will open an ecological Pandora’s Box

As the biotech industry continues to lay the groundwork for genetically engineered crops — poorly tested, widely debated and yet plugged as a technological wonder — a potentially greater threat to biodiversity has begun to emerge. Pushed forward by biotech and the multibillion-dollar timber industry, genetically engineered trees are the latest invention.

GE trees are planted in monoculture forests, which look more like plantations, and pose serious risks to the ecosystem. Trees live decades or centuries longer than plants, and their seeds can travel hundreds of miles, increasing the likelihood of gene contamination to wild species.
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