Commercial Production of the Genetically Engineered Eucalyptus Tree

Concerning Article 1, I believe the USDA should restrict the commercial production of the genetically engineered eucalyptus tree based on the reasons below.

Environmentally, the production of engineered eucalyptus trees potentially increases the risk of wildfire. As evidenced by the deadly wildfire that happened in Portugal, the eucalyptus leaves and bark which contain flammable eucalyptus oil can turn into a pile of fuel when they hang off the trunks, thereby exacerbating the fire. Although it is argued that there is no direct scientific evidence that eucalyptus does cause the fire, if there is any potential harmful effect to us, we should eliminate such a risk.

Hence, the production of eucalyptus should be restricted.

Environmentally, eucalyptus can degrade the soil, leading to the ‘green dessert’. As eucalyptus have deep tap rootstheyit will monopolize ground water and dry up the soil, leading to the desertification of soils. What’s more, the toxic agrochemicals used on the plantations will contaminate the soils and groundwater. In long term, we may not be able to plant on the polluted and degraded soils again.

(Global Justice Ecology Project, 2010)

Ecologically, the production of the f eucalyptus trees will be a disruption to the biological environment, leading to the loss of biodiversity and further affecting the food chain negatively. As mentioned above, displacement of wildlife thanks to the land desertification makes the eucalyptus tree unable to be used for habitat or food. Hence, this seriously disrupts the ecosystem. When the soil is insufficient to support the growth of plants and animals, biodiversity loss will result.

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(Global Justice Ecology Project, 2010)

After all, I believe environmental protection is the universal goal and must be emphasized.

Economically, it is claimed that the genetically engineered eucalyptus tree generates wealth and creates employment, the increase in revenue can trickle down to general workers.

For example, biotechnology company FuturaGene has become the first of its kind in the United States. However, I believe the cost to the environment outweighs such economic benefits. The government or non-government organizations may have to spend a huge amount of money on environmental protection due to the plantation, while the company earns profits, enjoying the fruits of it. It shows that we are putting the cart before the horse.

Environmentally, it is claimed that the genetically engineered eucalyptus tree can help feed the global demand for biomass energy. With the increasing international price and excess demand for oil, biomass energy is certainly one of the substitutes for us to turn to. However, we should not overlook the negative environmental impact brought by the engineered eucalyptus: increasing risk of fire, carbon emission, and soil degradation. In no way should we produce the energy at the expense of environmental protection, while there are still many clean energies that can be produced without much harmful effect on the environment such as wind energy. It should be also noted that in long run, we can generate renewable energy by different methods such as hydroelectric power, but it is hard for us to recover the environment after the damage, it takes years, or even it is irrecoverable just as climate change.

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Commercial Production of the Genetically Engineered Eucalyptus Tree. (2022, Jun 09). Retrieved from

Commercial Production of the Genetically Engineered Eucalyptus Tree
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