Forests Are About to Become Genetically Modified

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Scientists have been working since the early 1990s to develop a genetically altered American chestnut tree resistant to a fungus that all but wiped out the species
  • The forests along the U.S. east coast were once home to billions of American chestnut trees that provided sustenance for animals and humans
  • Farmers used to fatten their hogs and cows by allowing them to forage for chestnuts in the fall; people in the Appalachian Mountains would harvest and sell the chestnuts
  • A release of GE trees would open the door to release other genetically engineered plants in the forest. It is impossible to monitor the GE trees or predict how they will impact the environment

Continue reading