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Groups Renew Demand to UN to Ban GE Trees

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page.

Amsterdam, Netherlands / Montevideo, Uruguay /Buffalo, NY, US--At the Meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad, India, civil society organizations released a letter today to the CBD Executive Secretary demanding a global ban on the release of genetically modified trees into the environment.

One of the topics for discussion at this meeting are guidelines for the risk assessment and risk management of genetically modified (GM) trees. The communique from the CBD Secretariat on 27 September 2012 stated the meeting will "adopt further decisions to contribute to ensuring the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology".

"Contributing to the safe transfer, handling and use of GM trees directly contradicts the decision of the CBD's Conference in Bonn, Germany in 2008", stated Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project.  "That meeting reaffirmed the need to take a precautionary approach with regard to GM trees, and called for contained studies--not open air--of the risks and impacts of GM trees. This came about in part due to a unanimous call by organizations and Indigenous Peoples groups, as well as the entire African delegation and other Parties to suspend the release of all GM trees into the environment", she added.

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