In February 2022, FSC announced that it is starting a “learning process on genetic engineering in forestry outside of FSC-certified area”. According to FSC’s website, “The aim of the FSC GE learning process will be for FSC and its members to gain sufficient and trusted knowledge on developments in genetic engineering in forestry.”
For the recent ARTE documentary about FSC, journalists Manfred Ladwig and Thomas Reutter travelled to Brazil to take a look at pulp company Veracel’s industrial tree plantations. They travel with Klemens Laschefski, professor of political ecology at the Federal University of Minas Gerais.
On 9 April 2015, Brazil’s Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTNBio) approved the commercial use of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees. The application came from FuturaGene, a company owned by pulp and paper giant Suzano.
Suzano’s plantations are FSC-certified. Estevão do Prado Braga, who works for Suzano, is a member of FSC’s Board.
Yet FSC’s Policy of Association does not allow FSC to associate with companies that introduce genetically modified organisms into forestry operations.
FSC has a policy of association under which, “Introduction of genetically modified organisms in forestry operations” is not acceptable.
In 2010, Suzano bought biotechnology company FuturaGene. In January 2014, FuturaGene applied to Brazil’s National Technical Biosafety Commission (CTNBio) for approval to plant GE trees on a commercial scale.
In June 2014, FSC-Watch reported that Brazilian company Suzano was planning to use genetically engineered trees in its plantations, and asked whether FSC would therefore dissociate from Suzano, in accordance with its policy of association.
The Campaign to STOP GE Trees recently wrote to FSC, calling on FSC to dissociate from Suzano.
FSC’s Policy of Association does not allow FSC to associate with companies that introduce genetically modified organisms into forestry operations. Suzano is FSC-certified and plans to plant GE trees on a commercial scale. Will FSC therefore dissociate from Suzano?
A new film documents the problems with FSC. FSC-Watch will be posting several articles about this over the next few days. Meanwhile, here is FERN’s description of the film in EU Forest Watch, January 2011. Below that is a trailer for the film.