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7-Misc: Genetic crop site "decontaminated" in UK



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TITLE:   GENETIC CROP SITE "DECONTAMINATED"
SOURCE:  Fife Earth First! & Genetic Engineering Network, UK
DATE:    April 10, 1999

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GENETIC CROP SITE "DECONTAMINATED" - Scottish campaigners take action to 
end The Genetic Experiment 

At one minute to midnight on Friday night, concerned citizens from around Scotland pulled up a field of genetically engineered (GE) oilseed rape at Boghall Farm, Penicuik, near Edinburgh. This nonviolent action was the latest in a series of protests at genetic test sites in Scotland (1). Concerned about the potential threat of genetic pollution, dangers to human health, and the unaccountable way in which GE foods are being introduced, campaigners have turned to direct action to ensure that the anti-genetics message can no longer be ignored. About a dozen people "decontaminated" the site by hand. There were no arrests. The company behind the site, Sharpes International Seeds Ltd., were testing oilseed rape resistant to Monsanto's 'Roundup' herbicide.

"By taking direct action, we are sending a clear message to the corporations that are trying to force this new technology on us. Genetic crops are not wanted or needed. What we really need is an end to the greed of corporate giants that think they can literally own life for profit. It is time that these faceless boardroom directors stopped hiding behind dubious science, and irresponsible 'humanitarian' claims, and accepted the wishes of the people of Europe. Tonight's message is simple - we will not accept irreversible and self-perpetuating genetic pollution. We will not give control of our staple foods to business that care more for profit than the planet. We are here to hold them to account." said a spokesperson for the group.

Matthew Herbert of anti-genetics campaigners Fife Earth First! said "Despite attempts to sell us GE crops as the cure all for the world's ills it is clear that the Biotech companies PR is failing to convince people. The public see claims that GE foods are good for the planet for what they really are - desperate attempts to convince an unwilling public to participate in a global genetic experiment. The fact that individuals are prepared to take illegal direct action to end this experiment, should alert us all to the danger posed by gene technology."

Notes to editors
For more information , please contact
Fife Earth First! on: 01334 477411 or
Genetic Engineering Network (GEN) on: 0181 374 9516.

1) On March 22nd of this year in Fife, a genetic release site of oilseed rape was scythed by seven local community members. One week later Fife was declared free of genetic sites, when approximately fifty adults and children pulled up the remaining crop from the ground, under the gaze of the local constabulary! On May 17th another oilseed rape experimental crop, at the Walton Experimental farm in Aberdeen, had a huge X scythed across it.

2) The action in Scotland follows a week of similar actions around England. Over a twenty four hour period on Wednesday and Thursday 3 & 4th of June, seven genetic sites were pulled up. On Monday 8th June a group calling themselves the 'Lincolnshire Loppers' pulled up a demonstration crop of genetically engineered spring wheat at Cereals '98. The total of known sites in the UK that have been decontaminated has now grown to 21. It is unclear exactly how many remain.

3) PHOTOGRAPHS of anti- GE activists decontaminating sites are available to
media and can be viewed at: http://www.squall.co.uk/ind2.html and going to 'underground update'. More details on how to get hold of these photographs and others from GEN on: 0181 374 9156.

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-
===================================================
-| Hartmut Meyer
-| Co-ordinator
-| GENET
-| The European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering
-|
-| Reinhaeuser Landstr. 51
-| D - 37083 Goettingen
-| Germany
-| 
-| phone: #49-551-7700027
-| fax  : #49-551-7701672
-| email: genet@agoranet.be
===================================================

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