PicturePhoto: Langelle/photolangelle.org for GJEP
(Asheville, NC, US) Three demonstrators were brutally arrested today at the controversial Tree Biotechnology 2013 conference.  They attempted to use GMO caution tape to wrap a bus full of conference participants headed for an upscale dinner at the Biltmore Estate. Dozens more groaning zombie “franken-tree” protesters banged pots and pans and chanted anti-genetically engineered tree slogans.

Will Bennington, a campaigner with Global Justice Ecology Project and the Campaign to STOP GE Trees, was one of those arrested for blockading the buses. Bennington said, “We’re blocking the buses because these conference attendees are on their way to dinner at the Biltmore Estate.  Built by the Vanderbilts, the Biltmore is a symbol of the wealthy and powerful, and one of the birthplaces of industrial forestry in the US, which wiped out forests from coast to coast. The tree biotechnology industry is continuing this destructive legacy.  They plan to cut down native forests and replace them with GE tree plantations grown solely for the profit of the elite at the expense of local communities and biodiversity.”

Protesters are demanding a ban on the release of GE trees into the environment. South Carolina-based ArborGen, a major conference sponsor, has a request pending with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to release millions of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees annually for planting in vast plantations across the US South.

Read the full story here...

5/31/2013 14:23:50

Well done Asheville Police!!!

6/2/2013 15:27:10

There was no police brutality, I was on the bus and these people were lying on the road, which is very dangerous for them and illegal. This is why they were cuffed and removed from their horizontal position on the roads surface.

There is no reason to shout abuse and give scientists the finger, we are all polite people and the majority of us work in conservation. Biotechnology is a very broad term, and out of 159 presentation only two mentioned GMOs, one of these was to bring back the American chestnut from the edge of extinction. Please be polite in future, we would be more than happy to talk to people, so long as they are not threatening us! The protestors rude behaviour was pathetic, and did more to put many University professors, academics and young scientists off side, rather than to generate support, a very destructive week for your cause, you lost me, well done!!!!

Me again
5/31/2013 14:25:19

Kick these protesters butt!!!

The ringleader
5/31/2013 14:28:02

The ringleader of this group
Travels the world and stays in 5 star hotels with the money from donors - nice way to have a living doing nothing!!!!

Jamie Hume
6/1/2013 04:52:57

People who have a conscience actually can be: rich, poor, employed, unemployed, well educated, uneducated...there is no demographic for that or empathy.

The tactics above will only serve to embitter people more. What ever happened to listening to the consumer?

All these claims of using GE plants and animals to 'save; the environment , are only about creating an inferior new ecosytem with barcodes.

Sadly, men have done a lot to contribute to over population by trying to control womens reproduction.

IN countryies like Canada, where women have a greater control over their reproduction and where there is less poverty and a higher quality of life for women (ie freedoms and respect ) the population goes down. We have to bring in people every year just to break even. So, are GEs the answer? No, they once again, are trying to take control of reproduction... and screwing up.

Me again!!
5/31/2013 14:28:50

Folks - go and get a job!!!

Me again
5/31/2013 14:31:32

Anne - where are you???

Me again
5/31/2013 14:40:57

How sad - there are only five folks outside holding a banner. What will you say Anne? That hundreds or thousands descended on the conference? Hahaha

5/31/2013 15:12:55

Always knew you tree engineer industry mouthpieces were ignorant Thanks for proving my point. Why don't you use your name? Scared?

Genie in the bottle
5/31/2013 15:14:57


5/31/2013 15:27:04

Anne - why are you leaving so early???

5/31/2013 15:58:49

The meeting science was excellent. There was no disruption of consequence

5/31/2013 18:44:05

You forgot to mention that Anne was an attendee at the conference as well as at the upscale dinner that the protesters were trying to block the bus for. Hypocrites!

5/31/2013 21:05:23

Anne - A good reason for not giving out our names is that we actually all have real jobs - we don't spend the whole day doing nothing or sending hate emails :)

5/31/2013 21:27:44

Anne, they have a real job but they took a day off because they love earth that helps us live while you're part or the destroyers!

Jamie Hume
6/1/2013 04:41:39

Greed without boarders…madness. How off the charts does a persons ego have to be to turn genetics into the cancerous industry that it has become?

I love science. Science is neutral. However, Scientists are human beings and with that, there is no guarantee of a moral compass.

It seems to me that this line of study has become the lottery that many have dreamed of. Apparently the pharmaceutical industry was not enough. It could be, that the tendency to narrow ones field of study, has blinded these intelligent people to the greater reality.

Thankfully, not all scientists are such narrowly focused, greedy human beings with no sense of ethical responsibility to their fellow human beings or the planet.

6/1/2013 08:09:00

Where does your right to protest trump my right to study what I want and work for whom I want, regardless of yours or my beliefs? You people are all alike.....protest, fight, and demonize those you know nothing about because you believe you are right. It's ok until someone pushes back on your belief system then you resort to name calling, violence, and attacking others rights to be left alone. I could care less about the issue you are trying to defend solely because of the way you choose to present your case. We were laughing at the circus the protesters gave us. It was pathetic and meaningless except to demonstrate their immaturity....especially the blow hard on the mega phone yelling obscenities!

Anne Petermann
6/1/2013 08:25:51

Violence? Sorry, but I think it was you who was urging the police to "kick protesters' butts" and applauding the police use of unnecessary and brutal force to deal with nonviolent protesters.

Then their was tree engineer Wout Boerjan's comments about the police "not hitting them hard enough" with regard to anti GMO protesters in Europe. Oh, and his "dreams" of protesters frying on his high voltage electric fence. I'm afraid it is you "leaders" in the tree biotechnology field who are infatuated with using violence against peaceful protesters. Shame.

What genetically engineered trees would do to the forest when they or their genetic material escape, that is the real violence.

Jamie Hume
6/1/2013 14:09:52

Your right to study is not the issue unless you impose your lab upon the environment and use us as your lab rats. Which has been done and it has already got out of the box.That is where the line is drawn. You are crossing the line in impinging upon 'our' rights by releasing this pollution into the environment and our bodies.

You are forcing GE plants into our food system and aggressive GE species into us as well. You are letting these contaminants into the greater ecosystem as well. You know it is true. The Killer Bee and other species that were supposed to be contained have got loose. How long before that new super fish gets out of the tank? I give it less than five years. Imagine what would happen if it hits the oceans?!

You do this against my wishes and the wishes of other people and that is a violation of 'our' rights regardless of the various laws in different countries.It is wrong to do that to another person. YOu can eat all the GE food you want...just as long as you keep it locked up and away from the greater ecosystem and do not force it upon anyone else.

Creating a situation that will replace a 'perfect' brilliant ecosystem with an 'inferior' copyrighted one is a violation and an assault upon the planet and your fellow human beings. 'You are committing assault'. I do not condone violence.

As for voicing obscenities... that was not in our best interest... but people are angry because you assault us with this pollution, you are forcing us and you are using us against our will.

These protesters were 'not' violent. We are 'not' laughing at you. We have our egos in check, do you?

genie in the bottle
6/1/2013 09:49:05

Wout! Wout!

Screw those malcontents who only follow their guru, Bill McKibbon.


nothing against GMO
6/1/2013 21:31:44

Do you know that the frost tolerant gene is coming from another plant, and not a frog, fish, or ET DNA???
Do you know that Eucalyptus is not native to America and their genes (transgenic or not) will not flow to kill any other plants nor insects?
Do you know that the toilet paper that you (hopefully) use everyday and the banner that you used in your protest are all made from trees?

Do you know that during the talks at the conference we could not hear a single noise made from the less-than-a-hundred-protesters?

Why so many lies?....I guess you don't have real arguments to convince the public, right?...

genie in the bottle
6/2/2013 02:52:15

genie in the bottle
6/2/2013 02:56:37

the smelly protesters are gone back to being lazy scum. Wout! Wout! glad no one could hear the protesters. Wout! Wout! the protesters used ear plugs up their butts instead of toilet paper. steve strauss for prez!

6/28/2013 07:11:29

It is exactly because eucalyptus are not native to this Hemisphere (or anywhere but Australia) that is exactly the problem, or have you not heard of kudzu. Eucalyptus is a documented invasive plant, just like kudzu, except eucalyptus has the added bonus of being explosively flammable. So, yeah, genetically engineer them to be freeze tolerant so they can invade forests all over the US South. good plan.

genie in the bottle
6/2/2013 03:00:07

Asheville is now safe for the beer week! Wout! Some serious drinking instead of protesting. Good show.


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