Bangladesh farmers resist biodevastation

Canadian activists who cut down and damaged GE trees at Saanich Seed Orchard/Tree Improvement Branch in Saanichton, British Colombia have released this communique:

In honor of BIO 2000, the largest-ever convention of the Biotechnology Industry Organization starting today in Boston, USA, the nighttime foresters of Canada made another substantial contribution to the international debate surrounding genetic engineering. Gathering together as a group called the “Ministry of Forest Defense,” we held a special cabinet meeting last night at the British Columbia Ministry of Forests (MoF) “Tree Improvement Branch” in Saanich.

The MoF is committed to transforming BC’s wild forests into genetically engineered tree farms. So we acted on our conscience and decontaminated the majority of coniferous test trees, numbering in the hundreds. Many of these were genetically engineered to be resistant to weevils. When we could positively identify trees as transgenic because they were labeled, we went after them with a vengeance while leaving the trees marked as “native stand” or “non-weevil resistant” alone. We cut, sawed, snapped, and lopped young trees and ring barked the larger trees (sized from 8-25 ft.), mature cottonwood and conifers. When the police showed up before we could finish our work, we then retreated to the shadows under the protection of night.

Now is our chance to demonstrate commitment to creating a sustainable world. The corruption of the Earth’s genetic structure is the most frightening and uncontrollable technology developing today. We all share the responsibility of stopping the spread of genetically mutilated crops before they spread further into the wild environment. We believe that both corporate and government fields are legitimate sites for our actions. These two entities work hand in hand to pass off hazardous waste as trees and food products in the name of profit, efficiency, and control. 77% of Canada’s forests are managed privately on behalf of the provincial governments. Canadian government participation in genetic engineering, therefore, opens up the majority of our land to plunder and genetic pollution. Unless the people stand up, unnecessary and unsafe biotechnology will spread like wildfire.

One may wonder why the “Tree Improvement” Branch would want to try and “improve” trees. They are perfect already. They might not be perfectly manufactured for industry, but for their symbiotic relationships in nature they are. We could never begin to understand the fragile and minute beauty of how trees form and what relationships they have to the flora and fauna around them. According to government figures, almost 10% of the new trees planted in Canada are from genetically engineered propagates.

Tonight marks the fourth time concerned gardeners have stepped in to protect the integrity of forest ecosystems in Canada. We will continue to take direct action until reason, responsibility, and respect are shown for the planet. We’d like to express our admiration for the Australian group “Free Seed Liberation” who recently joined the worldwide movement against genetic engineering by decontaminating a GE pineapple test site. Tonight’s action is specifically dedicated to them and the Wild Greens in New Zealand. Yours for resistance gardening, The Ministry of Forest Defense