In March 2023, FSC’s Board decided to discontinue the FSC Genetic Engineering Learning Process. The bias in favour of GE trees was clearly revealed by the fact that FSC’s “expert” panel for the learning process included Professor Steven Strauss of Oregon State University. Strauss has spent his career researching and promoting genetically engineered trees, and has has actively lobbied for FSC’s ban on commercial planting of GE trees by FSC-certified companies to be lifted.
The appointment of Steven Strauss to FSC’s “expert” panel reveals the pro-GE agenda of FSC’s learning process on GE trees
By Chris Lang
One year ago, the Forest Stewardship Council launched a “learning process on genetic engineering in forestry outside of FSC-certified area”. According to FSC, the aim of this “learning process” is “for FSC and its members to gain sufficient and trusted knowledge on developments in genetic engineering in forestry”. But FSC has appointed a panel of “experts” whose members have very little expertise in either genetic engineering or forest ecology, with one notable exception: Professor Steven Strauss of Oregon State University.
Gone! FSC’s 1994 cut-off date for destroying forests for monoculture plantations
By Chris Lang
At it’s General Assembly in Bali last week, FSC’s members voted to allow companies to be certified that have cleared forest to make way for industrial tree plantations between 1994 and 2000. In order to be certified, the company has to restore an area of forest equal to the area they destroyed. The cut-off date has now been moved to 2020. Any company converting forest to plantations after 2020 cannot be certified. Until FSC makes another decision to scrap its cut-off date, that is.(more…)
NGOs raise the alarm that the Forest Stewardship Council is opening the door to the global release of genetically engineered trees
By Chris Lang
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.”(more…)
Please sign the petition for a strong FSC ban on GE trees
In denial: FSC’s response to the ARTE documentary
Two weeks ago, ARTE broadcast a documentary that was extremely critical of FSC. FSC responded with a statement on its website, and an 8-page “Fact check”. FSC’s response illustrates that the organisation is in denial about the problems within the FSC system.
ARTE Documentary on Veracel, Brazil: Villagers are being “wiped out by eucalyptus”
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.
New documentary slams FSC: “The eco-label could not slow down the forest industry”
ARTE, the European TV channel, broadcast a new documentary about FSC this week. It’s available on Das Erste website in German: “Die Ausbeutung der Urwälder: Kann ein Öko-Siegel die Forstindustrie stoppen?” – The exploitation of primary forests: Can an ecolabel stop the forest industry?
FSC just voted to allow certification of plantations on forest trashed since 1994
Yesterday, at the FSC General Assembly in Vancouver, FSC members voted in favour of a motion to scrap the ban on the certifying plantations that were established on forests cleared after 1994.
FSC-certified company Holmen threatens Swedish high conservation value forests – in violation of FSC standards
The Forest Stewardship Council standard for Sweden “allows forests to be converted into tree plantations, through the use of clear-cut logging, soil scarification (ridging) and chemical fertilisation”, writes Amanda Tas of Protect the Forest in a recent piece on the Plantation Definition Discussion website.