By Dr. Mercola
If the biotech industry has its way, 184 million acres of native forests around the world will be bulldozed down and replaced with plantations of genetically engineered (GE) trees.
On these proposed GE tree plantations, there are essentially no other plants, insects, birds, or wildlife — just rows upon rows of cloned Frankentrees growing at accelerated rates on a crust of dead, lifeless soil above dwindling groundwater reserves.
Trees are being genetically engineered with unnatural characteristics, such as the ability to kill insects, tolerate colder temperatures, resist toxic chemicals, and grow faster — but these “advantages” come at an unacceptable price.
“Synthetic Forests” is a documentary exposing the truth about GE trees. In this short but hard-hitting film, leading scientists discuss the devastating and irreversible impacts of allowing GE trees into our global ecosystem.
Why Genetically Engineer Trees?
Industry wants to market designer trees with a variety of traits that will increase their income-generating capacity — at least over the short-term. Trees have varying degrees of commercial value, depending on their characteristics, as well as how quickly they can be harvested.
For example, some trees like the fast-growing Eucalyptus are being engineered to grow even faster.
In collusion with the paper industry, trees are being engineered to have lower lignin, as this natural polymer must be removed from wood pulp before the pulp can be made into paper, which is an expensive part of the process.
The problem is, lignin is what gives trees their structural integrity — it’s what allows trees to stand strong in wind and other harsh weather conditions, and to withstand diseases and damage from insect and animal browsing.
Low-lignin trees are weaker and less able to withstand these environmental stresses and do not optimally nourish important fungi once they are put back into the soil. Dead low-lignin trees
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