25 February 1998
Defiant Monsanto keeps GM beet trial going

By FWi staff

AMERICAN biotech giant Monsanto will continue its trials on genetically modified sugar-beet in Ireland, despite a tenfold increase in objections to its plans.

Monsanto had hoped to grow genetically modified sugar-beet on 10 farms in Ireland this year. But five farmers pulled out after the Irish Environmental Protection Agency received 3,423 separate objections from pressure groups and members of the public.

A Monsanto spokesman said the trials would now go ahead on the remaining five farms. The other farmers pulled out because they feared being intimidated and hassled by environmental groups who are opposed to genetically modified crops.

Irish resistance to genetically modified crops is strong. Environmental activists destroyed Monsantos first genetically modified crop of sugar beet grown in Ireland last October.