Genetically Engineered Trees


Since 1999 GENET collects and distributes information on various topics in the field of genetic engineering in agriculture, food production and health. With this "Special Topic: GE Trees" GENET aims at providing an overview about the worldwide debate on genetically engineered trees, based on our archives.


Databank Query 1: "trees" as key word in the GENET-news text


You will find a selection of publications in the section "Research & Reports". To get more information about the different stakeholders in the debate, please follow the internet links to selected actors in the civil society and industry sectors. Finally, the page "GE Trees and the CBD" introduces you into the international debate about a moratorium on GE trees that is ongoing at the Convention for Biological Biodiversity.

GENET-news articles

2014-04-07 |

GE Trees Make It Easier To Produce Paper

Researchers have genetically engineered trees that will be easier to break down to produce paper and biofuel, a breakthrough that scientists say will mean using fewer chemicals, less energy and creating fewer environmental pollutants.

2014-04-07 |

Genetically engineered trees hailed as ecological

Researchers have genetically engineered poplar trees with lignin that breaks down more easily, opening the door to cheaper biofuels and wood pulp that require only a fraction of the energy and chemicals to produce.

2013-12-18 |

Florida University Campus: Anti GE Tree Activists Kicked Off , Spied on by FBI

A few months ago, while reporting an article about genetically engineered trees for Earth Island Journal’s Autumn issue (read the story here), I had a mighty hard time locating plant biologists or genetic engineers at academic institutions who were willing to talk about the possible risks of growing GE trees in massive plantations. It seemed there was little debate over this controversial issue within the biotech community on college campuses — the very places where most of the research into GE trees is carried out.

2013-11-08 |

USA: GE trees under USDA consideration could harm environment

As the US Department of Agriculture considers whether to authorize the unrestricted planting of genetically engineered Eucalyptus trees experts are warning that such a policy would not only be unnatural, but negatively impact the environment.

2013-10-11 |

Tanzania battleground in fight over GM crops

When the bell rang at midday, students fetched tin bowls and lined up under trees in the schoolyard for scoops of corn and bean porridge.

2013-10-09 |

GM HLB-resistant citrus trees move to field trials

The most effective method of controlling the devastating citrus greening disease that has ravaged Florida’s orange groves also may be the most controversial. A report from the National Academy of Sciences says the most powerful long-time management tool for the bacterium that causes the disease and, possibly, for the Asian citrus psyllid that spreads it, may be genetic engineering.

2013-10-01 |

Hawaii: Vandals hack down GM papaya trees

“Papaya vandals strike again” is the headline news in Hawaii, where about 100 genetically modified papaya trees were destroyed late last week by machete-wielding vandals.

2013-09-09 |

Nature Vs. GMO: Face Off Over GM Food

Heather Harp's passionate advocacy against foods with genetically modified ingredients springs from her guts. The 29-year-old Auburndale woman, a private nanny, represents one of the millions of U.S. consumers the Florida citrus industry will have to deal with if it takes the path of using genetically engineered trees as a solution to citrus greening, a fatal bacterial disease threatening commercial citrus production in the state.

2013-08-19 |

Who You Calling a Pirate?

Though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Monsanto can sue farmers to death for doing what farmers have done since before time began - save seeds to plant next spring - questions remain. The Supreme Court ruled on "genetically modified" crops - DNA tinkering in seeds from glyphosate-resistant "Roundup Ready" plants. But farmers have been genetically modifying crops since women descended from the trees. Planting seeds from the biggest fruits and grains, year after year, is genetic modification.

2013-08-06 |

Genetically engineered trees

If you spend any time on social media, you probably have read stuff about GMOs and Monsanto and the scary stuff that has, or might ensue from releasing these fancy designer organisms into the environment.
The issues range from human health concerns, environmental disasters and the ever increasing commoditization of life itself.

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GE Trees: NGOs and Social Movements

 people's Forest Forum

The Global Ban on GM Trees Campaign was released by three Finnish non-governemental organisations in January 2004. The open petition protested decicion made in UN Climate change meeting in Milano to include transgenic trees in their climate toolbox. This desicion violated the biodiversity and biosafety agreements and prozesses.

 Stop GE Trees Campaign

The Stop GE Trees Campaign is a national and international alliance of organizations that have united toward the goal of prohibiting the ecologically and socially devastating release of genetically engineered trees into the environment. Global Justice Ecology Project coordinates, administrates and fundraises for the campaign. World Rainforest Movement, based in Uruguay, is the Southern Hub for the Campaign and has materials in Spanish and Portuguese.

 Genetically Modified Trees

Information by the World Rainforest Movement

  • WRM publications on GM Trees
  • Articles published in WRM bulletin
  • WRM special bulletin on GM Trees
  • Video "The Silent Forest"
  • Other relevant information
  • Links

GE Trees: Biotechnology Industry and Science

 Institute for Forest Biotechnology

The Institute promotes the responsible use of biotechnology in forest trees.  We advance the societal, environmental, and economic benefits biotechnology can bring to forests around the world.  The Institute of Forest Biotechnology (IFB) is the only non-profit organization to address the sustainability of forest biotechnology on a global scale.


Trees are the world’s most plentiful and versatile source of renewable materials and an important resource for bioenergy. ArborGen is dedicated to improving the sustainability and productivity of purpose grown working forests, providing more wood on less land while preserving native habitats in all their diversity and complexity for future generations.

 Tree Biosafety and Genomics Research Cooperative

The goal of the Tree Biosafety and Genomics Research Cooperative (TBGRC) is to conduct research, technology transfer, and education to facilitate beneficial uses of genetically engineered trees in plantations. The TBGRC seeks to test and develop select innovations, based on progress in molecular biology and agricultural biotechnology, that will ultimately have commercial value to wood-growing and horticultural industries. Research is presently focused on poplars as scientific models for genetic engineering and functional genomic studies.