Keep GMO Poplar Trees out of our New Mexican Cottonwood Forests

Keep GMO Poplar Trees out of our New Mexican Cottonwood Forests

By Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray, Four Bridges Permaculture Institute

If you haven’t already seen our Petition on Facebook, please take moment to read about a serious problem that we are facing in Espanola, New Mexico. This issue not only affects Espanola, but all of Rio Arriba County and Northern New Mexico. GMOs are a threat to our communities all over the earth, and through pollen drift can contaminate your hometown at any moment. We need to stand together to speak out against GMOs.

A scientist from Washington State University wants to plant genetically engineered poplar trees along the Rio Grande on the north side of Espanola that will produce 2-phenylethanol, which will simulate a substance similar to rose oil. It is used in foods, candy, flavored teas, sodas, alcoholic drinks, lotions, soaps, pharmaceuticals, toothpaste, chewing gum, cosmetics and powders.

Keith Jones is partnering in the project with Norman Lewis, director of Washington State’s Institute of Biological Chemistry, to form a company called Ealasid, Inc. This company is working in conjunction with the Regional Coalition of Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL) Communities in support of activities at a Wet Lab owned by LANL. The project would involve planting 80 acres of GMO Poplar Trees in the heart of agricultural land in Northern New Mexico.

Northern New Mexico has a strong tradition of agriculture that stems back well before European contact. The seeds, food crops, medicines, wild plants, and trees are sacred and must not be threatened by GMO contamination. Rio Arriba County, Eight Northern Pueblos, All Indian Pueblo Council, and Santa Fe County have all adopted resolutions to keep GMOs out of their communities. New Mexico Senate Memorial 38 also supports the New Mexico Food and Seed Sovereignty Alliance in “protecting native seeds from genetic contamination.” This project would threaten the purity of human, animal and plant life in this community.

We need to set a precedent in our cities, counties, states, the entire country, North America and the world that GMOs will no longer be tolerated. Incidents of asthma, autism, and general allergies are at an all-time high. Our health and the health of our Mother Earth is more important than the profitability of major corporations, including those that run our national labs. Join Rio Arriba County in taking a stand against GMOs.

Please sign our petition to stop Easalid, and the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities from contaminating agricultural lands and one of the last remaining cottonwood forests in the world with their GMO Poplar Tree Project in Espanola, New Mexico.

For more information, to provide support, and to sign the petition contact Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray, Four Bridges Traveling Permaculture Institute at Four Bridges Traveling Permaculture Institute: email, phone 518-332-3156 or go to