09 June 1998
‘Lincolnshire Loppers’ hit GM wheat at Cereals 98
By FWi staff
ENVIRONMENTAL protestors calling themselves the “Lincolnshire Loppers” have destroyed a plot of the UKs first field-grown genetically-modified spring wheat.
The GM wheat was part of an exhibition by the Institute of Arable Crops Research (IACR) at the Cereals 98 event at Sleaford, Lincolnshire.
Farmers and scientists from across the country were due to view the crop tomorrow (10 June) and Thursday. But protestors broke into the site last night and uprooted the crop.
“The plots have been severely sabotaged,” said Professor Ben Milfin, IACR director. “I think that most [people] will agree that the wanton destruction we have just witnessed curbs, rather than encourages, balanced and responsible discussion about a technology that is already impacting on farming.”
The destruction of the Cereals 98 wheat is the eighth attack on GM crop sites since last Friday. Seven GM crops were destroyed in less than 24 hours last weekend. Jacklyn Sheedy, from the Genetic Engineering Network, which monitors the number of attacks, said: “I would imagine that this type of action is going to become more commonplace throughout the summer.
“Many people we talk to are so concerned about genetically engineered food and crops that they want to take action.”