16 June 1999
GM protestors at Cereals ’99 – details

By Vicky Houchin

LEADING biotech company Monsanto was hit by protestors at Cereals `99 this morning.

Despite the presence of security guards, five activists destroyed trial crops of genetically modified sugar-beet at the companys stand.

The protestors, from Genetix Snowball, arrived at the Monsanto stand dressed in white shell suits, and stayed for half an hour, ripping up the plants.

The two men and three women handed out leaflets defending their action, saying that the crops were unwanted, unnecessary, inherently unpredictable and unsafe.

Before leaving, the protestors posed for photos for a leading national newspaper, which had been at the site, set up for the event.

Tony Combes, director of corporate affairs for Monsanto, told FWi that he had good reason to believe that Genetix Snowball was in contempt of a court injunction against them last September and renewed in March of this year.

“It is up to the court to consider the facts,” he added.

The plots of sugar beet were planted to demonstrate and illustrate the benefits of herbicide-resistant plants, said Mr Combes.

“It was evidence to decide whos right – the environmentalists or the scientists, said Mr Combes.”