12 June 2001
Court throws out GM trashing case

By FWi staff

A CASE against protesters who damaged a genetically modified maize crop in Dorset has been thrown out of court.

Weymouth magistrates found no case to answer against seven protesters who were charged with aggravated trespass.

They had been charged after invading the 33-acre field at Tolbridge Farm, near Sherborne on 16 July last year.

The case collapsed after arguments that, as no one was present in the field at the time of the protest, the charge did not stand up, reports the Ananova website.

This is another setback for GM crop trials.

Last month National Farmers Union president Ben Gill accused anti-GM protesters of intimidating farmers into pulling out of trials.

And last September, the NFU leader reacted with fury when 28 Greenpeace protesters were cleared of criminally damaging GM maize.

Mr Gill said that the verdict, at Norwich Crown Court, threw into question whether farmers could do their job without interference from vandals.

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