PictureProtestors sent a clear message to message to the GE tree industry and its investors – expect resistance. Photo: Langelle/photolangelle.org for GJEP
Asheville, NC (US)-Hundreds of demonstrators marched on an international forest biotechnology industry conference today, demanding a ban on the release of genetically engineered trees into the environment.

The protest, the largest yet against GE trees, occurred one day after two Asheville residents were arrested while disrupting a presentation titled “Engineering Trees for the Biorefinery.”

Following the arrests and the threat of protest today, the conference went on high alert. Police maintained a presence inside and outside the hotel conference center all day, participant badges were scrutinized, conference doors were locked during sessions, and hotel access restricted.

Two of the major conference sponsors, FuturaGene and ArborGen, are moving forward with plans to commercially release GE eucalyptus trees in Brazil and the US.

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(Asheville, NC) As the Tree Biotechnology 2013 conference kicked off early Monday, two Asheville residents were arrested after disrupting a major presentation by Belgian tree engineer Wout Boerjan entitled, “Engineering trees for the biorefinery.”

The protestors said that if legalized, GE trees would lead to the destruction of native forests and biodiversity in the US South, and be economically devastating to rural communities.

The talk was disrupted for 20 minutes.

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