About A Silent Forest & Genetically Engineered Trees

This resource page is dedicated to updates about research, development, and the possible release of GMO trees after the production of A Silent Forest.

GE trees can be designed to be entirely, from root to leafy crown, a pesticide, to be herbicide resistant, to have a lower lignin content, and to be sterile. Each of these characteristics has different (and frightening) effects on ecosystems and human health:

  • Pesticides engineered into every cell of the tree (Bt toxin) make it poison to insects and everything on up the food chain (and deadly to non-target species, such as Monarch butterflies); the only insects that survive would be those who develop resistance to the pesticide, requiring even more and deadlier pesticides.
  • Bt toxins in crops have been shown to induce allergies, respiratory illnesses, headaches, dizziness, and gastrointestinal distress in human beings. And the pesticide applied to these tree plantations, glyphosate (RoundUp), has been shown to produce an increased risk of miscarriages, premature births, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in human communities that use it; while it damages soil, destroys beneficial fungi and bacteria, seeps into running water, and can contaminate ground water


  • The decrease in lignin (ostensibly to make the trees easier to turn into paper) also makes these trees more susceptible to insect pests, to disease, to weather, requiring more pesticides and producing fewer healthy trees.
  • The terminator gene that advocates of GE trees say will make them sterile and protect native forests from pollen drift is never guaranteed. Even a small number of non-sterile trees, that nevertheless still have that terminator gene, can spread sterility to other trees and plants, including food crops.

“Trees have life cycles of  50 years, a hundred years and so on, during which time we’re going to see the tree putting out pollen, putting out the toxins from the root system again, putting out the toxin through every single cell in this tree and affecting insects and all these other organisms over this very, very long period of time.” Ignacio Chapela, University of California – Berkeley

Click here to watch the video, which explains all of these points in detail, via interviews with plant biologists, farmers, and activists.

For a history of GE Trees, click here to check out a very informative article.

And for excellent group of in-depth current reports please go to our; related-anti-gmo-resources page

For Global Justice Ecology’s Stop GE Tree Campaign, go to: http://globaljusticeecology.org/nogetrees/

To order 10 copies or more of A Silent Forest, go to the contact page for Three Americas and leave a request for information at: http://www.threeamericas.org/about-us/

To order fewer than 10 copies, go to: http://www.threeamericas.org/videos/