Activists destroy maize cropin war on GM foods

05 August 1998

Activists destroy maize crop
in war on GM foods

ENVIRONMENTAL activists have destroyed a field of experimental maize in the latest chapter of their protest over the production of genetically modified (GM) food.

Twelve people have been held by police over the action which took place at Hood Barton Farm, near Dartington, Devon.

The GM maize was being cultivated by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture.

It was recently the subject of a court action by a neighbouring farmer who attempted to get the maize trials banned. Judges in the High Court threw out his action because it had not been proved that the experimental crop was causing any harm.

The attack at Hood Barton Farm takes place against the background of a number of similar attacks. The destruction is said to be costing seed companies hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost research and possible future profits.

Roger Turner, of the British Society of Plant Breeders, said about 40 sites had been targeted by protestors.

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