A Silent Forest: The Growing Threat of Genetically Engineered Trees (2009)

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This award winning documentary film explores the growing global threat of genetically engineered trees to our environment and to human health. The film features renowned geneticist and host of PBS' The Nature of Things David Suzuki, who explores the unknown and possibly disastrous consequences of improperly tested GE methods. Many scientists and activists are interviewed in the film, which serves as an effective and succinct tool for understanding the complex issue of GE trees. The film includes the testimony of many experts on the subject and serves as a valuable tool to inform students and those interested in environmental issues. The film has been well used in public forums, government as well as college and high school classrooms. 

The film includes an interview with Percy Schmeiser, who lost the rights to his own crops to Monsanto, when Monsanto seeds contaminated his fields. As Schmeiser says in the film: 

"It doesn't matter how it gets there, destroying your crop. All of your crop, becomes Monsanto's ownership and they can lay a lawsuit on top of it against you. Even if the contamination rate is 1%, all your other 99% of your crop goes to Monsanto. And that's what startled the world, how farmers can lose their rights overnight, an organic farmer can lose his seeds and his rights overnight, and get subject to a lawsuit." 

The film shows how farmers like Schmeiser and indigenous people may lose their way of life and belongings in the face of new biotech friendly science and legislation. A Silent Forest won first place in the EarthVision Environmental Film Festival and a First Place in the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival. The film is created by award-winning director Ed Schehl who has been making and promoting documentaries on environmentalism and social justice for 15 years. As new crucial forms of legislation and urgent needs for action arise, this film makes information available to the general public. 

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