14 Jul 2013

Is Tasmania Covered With Genetically Modified Trees

The development of transgenic GM eucalypts in Tasmania commenced in 1986 at DeBoer Drive Ridgley in Northern Tasmania. The CSIRO Division of Forestry working in collaboration with APM, ANM (now Norske Skog), North Eucalypt Technologies and Kimberly Clarke was led by Dr. Rod Griffin. Funding was from the Federal Government and North Forest Products (now Gunns). North Eucalypt Technologies was the R&D division of North Forest Products. By 2000 the project had been taken over by UTAS. The goal was to enhance e.nitens and e.globulus for Kraft pulp production. Dutch Shell, also led by Dr. Rod Griffin filed a patent in February 1995 for transgenic eucalypts containing agrobacterium DNA. This bacteria causes tumors in trees and its role was to force tree cells to produce longer fibre. It is a plant and animal pathogen. British American Tobacco (BAT) filed a patent a year later that could be used with blugums under their R&D name Advanced Technologies Cambridge. The BAT patent also used agrobacterium. UTAS used this same tumor bacteria at Ridgley in 2000. It is probable that the CSIRO or UTAS filed at least one patent as a result of the Ridgley work. If so, that patent has been suppressed. There is 100% proof that GM transgenic 'tumor trees' were developed at Ridgley, but from early on the information was covered-up. Occasionally a researcher would boast of the work but it was always quickly denied. Secret field trials of transgenic eucalyptus took place throughout Tasmania.                          
To quote the Shell patent 'fieldtrialling is therefore necessary after genetic manipulation, rather than before'.
There has been a tremendous amount of GM tree research done Tasmania, mostly taxpayer funded. For some reason UTAS (University of Tasmania) researchers in GMOs have been the first to deny their own work. Perhaps they are aware of the catastrophic danger the technology poses to a small island like Tasmania? They know tree DNA can and does escape into surrounding trees, especially if they are flowering at the same time. They also know that agrobacterium is a pathogen to plants, animals and humans and that it acts as an immunosuppressant. Is it a coincidence Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease was detected 10 years after research at Ridgley commenced? UTAS researchers continue to maintain that bluegum and nitens 'genetic enhancement' is done by non-GM techniques but they fail to mention their tree breeding programs are based on cloning before and after genetic manipulation. This work has been hidden for too long. The electron scanning microscope image of a blugum shoot at the right is from 1997. In that year a Biotechnology Symposium in Canberra was hearing about 'Transgenic Insect and Herbicide Tolerant Eucalypts' by Danny Llewellyn from the CSIRO as well as 'Genetic Transformation of Eucalyptus Species towards the Modification of Fibre Characteristics' by Martin Maunders from BAT. North Forest Products was bought by Gunns, an aggressive, secretive company that was above the law in Tasmania. Gunns still sells tree plantation stock priced on 'the genetic quality of the seedlings'. Gunns lists certain genetic enhancements of plantation seedlings that could only come from transgenic trees. Do you think Gunns would hesitate in spreading GM trees across Tasmania after spending decades decimating the island's native forests for wood chips? One of Gunns board members was an ex-premier with a degree in agriculture. The federal government was pouring its own pension schemes into Gunns while funding research that would directly benefit government bureaucrats own pension funds. It's possible the Tasmanian Tumor Trees were the real economic driver for Gunns pulp mill.

The 'Tasmania Is GM-Free' Myth

The Tasmanian government is currently reviewing it's 'GMO-free' status but Tasmania already has GM poppy crops and is still trying to clean-up at 11 escaped gm-canola sites from a decade ago. How can the island be GMO-free? We suspect the Federal government used Tasmania to develop and trial GM trees because it is an island. Why has the Australian Government covered-up all field trials of GM trees in Australia? 
Our issue with GM trees and crops is that bioengineering actually weakens plants and animals for a perceived commercial gain. Statistically it can be proven they are creating 'genetic trojan horses' whose DNA will weaken and force entire species into extinction. We recommend reading about the disastrous consequences of scientists crippling their own life support system. Without intervention these 'Frankenstein' scientists will wipe-out the human race.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Tasmanian Public & Environmental Health Network raised this GM topic on the Sourcewatch – Pollution Information Tasmania website and Dr Marcus Scammell’s report of geo-spatial and temporal coincidence of the establishment of plantations of genetically-selected E. nitens cultivars and the emergence of DFTD in the NE of Tasmania.

I would be happy to collaborate with anyone working on this topic. My contact details are: dobendor@iinet.net.au

Phone: (03) 62345561 Thank for this article.