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

2000-09-01 |

GE news from Poland

find attached and below the official list of field trials in POLAND, as approved by the Ministry of Environment. In 1999, there were 12 permits given for field trials of GE sugar beet, fodder beet, maize, winter and spring oilseed rape and potatoes. In 2000, 9 permits were issued for field trials of: GE sugar beet (6 permits i.e. 6 GE varieties), maize and potatoes. [...] NGOs in Poland recently found out about trials of GE plum trees that have been going on for years.

2000-05-10 |

US environmentalists warn of GE trees

Last April, Monsanto Company (expected to merge with Pharmacia Upjohn), hooked up with International Paper, Westvaco Corporation (both based in New York) and the New Zealand - based Fletcher Challenge Forests to form a forestry biotechnology joint venture. The four companies will contribute 60 million dollars over five years to produce and market tree seedlings that they say will improve forest health and productivity. [...] Besides increasing the growth rates of tree, they plan to also focus on making these trees tolerant to certain herbicides, much like Monsanto’s »Round-up Ready« soy beans which are genetically designed to survive sprayings of an herbicide it manufactures.

2000-04-30 |

Canadian Province stops GE apple tree project

The provincial government won’t be participating in any more genetic research into how to keep sliced apples from turning brown. Organic fruit producers said in a news release Monday the government has decided to scrap the project at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre here. [...] »Corky has always understood that B.C. agriculture can best survive by being unique,« three organic growers groups said the release. »In a time of one agricultural crisis after another and with farmers leaving the land in droves, organic farming is an expanding and viable way to make a living.« Organic growers were worried genetically-engineered trees would cross-pollinate with natural ones, ruining their organic status.

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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.