We have won a critical fight in the campaign to stop genetically engineered trees.
Thanks to your action, the Board of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the world’s leading forest product certifier, has decided to back away from a process that would have put forests at risk and opened the door to overturning the FSC’s long-time policy that prohibits the commercial use of genetically engineered (GE) trees. Read today’s press release.
This action is a result of CBAN’s targeted campaign undertaken in collaboration with forest action groups around the world.
This strengthening of FSC’s prohibition on GE trees should help stop the release of GE glyphosate-tolerant eucalyptus trees in Brazil, as well as other GE trees. The FSC’s policy is an important obstacle to GE tree development globally.
For example, Brazilian company Suzano, a major global pulp producer and an FSC certificate holder, was given permission by the Brazilian government in 2021 to commercially grow eucalyptus trees that are genetically engineered to tolerate glyphosate-based herbicides. Under FSC’s policy, Suzano will not be able to grow their GE trees commercially without first leaving the FSC, a move that could have a potentially significant impact on their markets. Read more about this situation in our report.
A few key companies and GE tree researchers have been campaigning for twenty years to end the FSC’s prohibition on GE trees. Today, we stopped them. Many of you signed the statement that we organized calling on the Forest Stewardship Council to stop its GE project. In fact, 131 groups from 34 countries signed this statement calling on FSC to continue prohibiting the use of genetically engineered trees and to refrain from overseeing field experiments. Thank you for your action.
If you are part of a forest action group or other environmental group in Canada that wants to take action, please contact us. If you would like to receive quarterly updates on the global status of GE tree development, subscribe to the new international mailing list.
Genetically engineered trees are still a threat in Canada.
US researchers want approval to plant a GE American chestnut tree in the wild, in the US and Canada. They are close to getting approval in the US. Read our introduction to this issue here.