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POLICY & REGULATION: Greenpeace’s offices in Sydney raided



                                  PART 1


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TITLE:   GREENPEACE?S OFFICES IN SYDNEY RAIDED

SOURCE:  Herald Sun, Australia

AUTHOR:  Australian Associated Press, Australia, by Lauren Farrow

URL:     http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/greenpeaces-offices-in-sydney-raided/story-e6frf7jx-1226099218691

DATE:    21.07.2011

SUMMARY: "POLICE have raided Greenpeace?s head office in Sydney after some of the environmental group?s members destroyed a genetically modified wheat crop in Canberra last week. Shortly before noon today, police ?raided and locked down? the office in Ultimo, Greenpeace?s head of campaigns, Steve Campbell, said. ?We are assisting the police with their inquires and they didn?t make any arrests,? he said."

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GREENPEACE?S OFFICES IN SYDNEY RAIDED

POLICE have raided Greenpeace?s head office in Sydney after some of the environmental group?s members destroyed a genetically modified (GM) wheat crop in Canberra last week.

Shortly before noon today, police ?raided and locked down? the office in Ultimo, Greenpeace?s head of campaigns, Steve Campbell, said.

?We are assisting the police with their inquires and they didn?t make any arrests,? he said.

The raid comes after Greenpeace activists donned protective hazard suits and destroyed a trial GM wheat crop at the CSIRO?s experimental crop station in Canberra on July 14.

Greenpeace said it took the dramatic action because of concerns over health, cross-contamination and the secrecy surrounding the experiments.

?It?s a really important issue for Australia, for our environment, for our future,? Mr Campbell said.

He described the CSIRO wheat tests as a potential ?genetic cane toad?.

?There was a potential problem with this particular crop getting into the wider environment and contaminating the wider environment or other wheat crops,? he said.

?It?s very important that we now continue our work.?

A spokesperson from ACT police confirmed detectives were in the process of executing a search warrant on Greenpeace?s head office over an alleged trespass and property damage incident at CSIRO in Canberra.

The CSIRO has been contacted for further comment.

Greenpeace claims the Canberra trial was approved while two directors of Nufarm - a distributor of Monsanto?s Roundup Ready products in Australia - were serving on the board of CSIRO.

?Obviously there is a history in Australia of companies funding scientific research,? Mr Campbell said.

?But in this case there should be complete scrutiny by the Australian government and by the public.?

The comments follow a call from The Network of Concerned Farmers for an independent analysis of the threat GM wheat poses to ?multimillion-dollar wheat exports?.

The group last Friday said they were concerned the GM industry was unable to avoid contamination of non-GM grain and crops, and called on the government to put an end to open field trials of GM wheat.

The study by the CSIRO is feeding ACT-grown GM wheat to rats and pigs.

The modified wheat has been altered to lower its glycaemic index in an attempt to see if the grain could have health benefits such as improving blood glucose levels and lowering cholesterol.

CSIRO chief plant industry chief Jeremy Burdon has said there was no link between the trial wheat crop and Monsanto.

CropLife, a body which represents the science plant industry, last week condemned Greenpeace?s attack, saying it delayed valuable scientific research.



                                  PART 2

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   POLICE RAID GREENPEACE

SOURCE:  Stock & Land, Australia

AUTHOR:  Colin Bettles

URL:     http://sl.farmonline.com.au/news/nationalrural/grains-and-cropping/general/police-raid-greenpeace/2234167.aspx

DATE:    21.07.2011

SUMMARY: "THE Australian Federal Police raided and locked down Greenpeace?s Sydney headquarters at about noon today as part of its ongoing investigation into last week?s attack on government approved Genetically Modified wheat trials at CSIRO research facilities in Canberra. The AFP has also interviewed two ?persons of interest? as part of its ongoing investigation into the incident. ?ACT Policing executed a search warrant on the head office of Greenpeace Australia in Ultimo this morning,? the AFP statement said."

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POLICE RAID GREENPEACE

THE Australian Federal Police raided and locked down Greenpeace?s Sydney headquarters at about noon today as part of its ongoing investigation into last week?s attack on government approved Genetically Modified wheat trials at CSIRO research facilities in Canberra.

The AFP has also interviewed two ?persons of interest? as part of its ongoing investigation into the incident.

?ACT Policing executed a search warrant on the head office of Greenpeace Australia in Ultimo this morning,? the AFP statement said.

?The search warrant was executed in relation to an alleged trespass and property damage at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Ginninderra Experiment Station in Canberra last week.

?An amount of property was seized as evidence during the warrant.

?Part of that evidence will undergo forensic analysis.

?The warrant follows on from police interviews of two persons of interest in Sydney yesterday.

?No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing.?

Greenpeace issued a media statement to publicise the police raid.

In it, Greenpeace Head of Campaigns, Steve Campbell, said ?As an organisation that stands-up for transparency, Greenpeace is open to scrutiny?.

?This action has stirred up heated debate and it?s about time,? he said.

?Greenpeace is demanding that the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, urgently increase funding for the CSIRO, so that our public science agency stops having its strings pulled by billion-dollar foreign biotech corporations.?

The Greenpeace activists entered the CSIRO Ginninderra research facility illegally and using whipper snippers, inflicted about $300,000 damage on the GM wheat trials.

They then issued a media statement promoting the illegal act.

Shadow Agriculture Minister, John Cobb, was joined by a range of critics, including other politicians, scientists, farmers and farming groups, condemning the Greenpeace activists? actions, saying they should be prosecuted ?to the full extent of the law?.

Comments attributed to Canberra Greens MLA, Shane Rattenbury, understood to be a former Greenpeace staff member, who said on ABC radio on the day of the raid, that he condoned the Greenpeace activists? actions and that sometimes the end justified the means, were also criticiced.

The Gene Technology Act 2000, under which the trials are conducted, sets out a maximum penalty of two year imprisonment for anyone found guilty of damaging or interfering with approved GM trials and associated facilities.

Gene Technology Regulator, Dr Joe Smith, has declined to comment on last week?s incident while the issue is under investigation.

Security has been increased at the CSIRO Canberra trial site, while other trial sites around the nation have been placed on red alert in anticipation of further criminal damage.

CSIRO plant industry chief, Jeremy Burdon, said the data from the Canberra GM wheat trial had been compromised and would now have to be re-started next year.

But he said research into the technology would forge ahead despite the damage caused by Greenpeace.

?We will continue working in GM wheat as part of our commitment to delivering better crops to Australian farmers and healthier products to consumers,? he said.

?The incident has delayed research that would have provided the Australian public with healthier cereals and farmers with crops better suited to the Australian environment.?

Victorian Democratic Labor Party Senator, John Madigan, said the act of destruction by Greenpeace ?extremists? exposed them as ?criminally-minded vandals?.

He said while the DLP was cautious about GM modified foods, they respected the scientific community?s right to carry out lawful experiments, free from sabotage and free from intimidation.

?This extremist group aims at shutting down debate and excluding from the public forum all views which they judge unacceptable,? Senator Madigan said in demanding full payment of compensation in addition to appropriate criminal penalties.

?Their pretence of environmentalism is nothing more than a cover for dangerous political radicalism with unpleasant fascist overtones.?



                                  PART 3

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TITLE:   AUSTRALIA POLICE RAID GREENPEACE OVER GM CROP RAID

SOURCE:  Thomson Reuters, USA

AUTHOR:  Rob Taylor

URL:     http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/07/21/uk-australia-greenpeace-idUKTRE76K0Z920110721

DATE:    21.07.2011

SUMMARY: "Australian police raided on Thursday the Sydney headquarters of Greenpeace after activists from the environmental group broke into the country?s top science agency to destroy a trial plot of genetically modified wheat. [...] A police spokesman said a search warrant had been executed at the head office of GreenpeaceAustralia in relation to ?an alleged trespass and property damage at CSIRO in Canberra.? He said no one had been arrested in the operation."

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AUSTRALIA POLICE RAID GREENPEACE OVER GM CROP RAID

(Reuters) - Australian police raided on Thursday the Sydney headquarters of Greenpeace after activists from the environmental group broke into the country?s top science agency to destroy a trial plot of genetically modified wheat.

Three Greenpeace activists, wearing hazard suits, used garden strimmers to cut down a trial crop in a pre-dawn raid last week near the Canberra headquarters of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, or CSIRO.

A police spokesman said a search warrant had been executed at the head office of GreenpeaceAustralia in relation to ?an alleged trespass and property damage at CSIRO in Canberra.?

He said no one had been arrested in the operation.

The crop raid, which has been heavily criticised by scientists and farm groups, destroyed grain from genetically modified wheat and barley plants which researchers had hoped would improve health and help lower disease risk.

Australia?s Office of the Gene Technology Regulator said the risk to humans or the environment from the destroyed trial crop had been negligible, while the CSIRO said months of research would have to begin again.

Greenpeace Head of Campaigns Steve Campbell said the organisation would cooperate with police, but it was about time Australians focussed on the risks posed by GM crops and foods.

?There are serious risks associated with GM wheat experiments, risks to Australia?s health, our environment and our economy. To date, information on these risks has been ignored and covered up by our government,? Campbell said in a statement.

(Reporting by Rob Taylor; Editing by Mark Bendeich)



                                  PART 4

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   GREENPEACE AUSTRALIA RAIDED OVER GM WHEAT ACTION

SOURCE:  Agence France Press, France (AFP)

AUTHOR:  

URL:     http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jOgAMCSQVi1TWK7ivC7vPZzeNFUA?docId=CNG.454ffc5a0460a3378f12993e4765f06d.31

DATE:    21.07.2011

SUMMARY: "Australian police on Thursday raided the Sydney offices of Greenpeace over their destruction of an experimental crop of genetically modified wheat at a government research farm. Police seized a number of items for forensic analysis from the activist group?s headquarters after interviewing two ?persons of interest? in the case. ?The search warrant was executed in relation to an alleged trespass and property damage at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Ginninderra Experiment Station in Canberra last week,? police said."

----- archive: http://www.genet-info.org/information-services.html -----


GREENPEACE AUSTRALIA RAIDED OVER GM WHEAT ACTION

SYDNEY ? Australian police on Thursday raided the Sydney offices of Greenpeace over their destruction of an experimental crop of genetically modified wheat at a government research farm.

Police seized a number of items for forensic analysis from the activist group?s headquarters after interviewing two ?persons of interest? in the case.

?The search warrant was executed in relation to an alleged trespass and property damage at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Ginninderra Experiment Station in Canberra last week,? police said.

Greenpeace campaigns chief Steve Campbell said officers ?spent some hours? at the offices, adding that staff cooperated fully and no arrests were made.

?We had to stop everything that we were doing and speak with police and then go into cooperation mode,? Campbell told AFP, declining to comment on what items had been seized.

?We?re not going to take a backwards step in talking about this issue and our campaign to stop genetically modified wheat being released into the Australian environment,? Campbell said.

Three Greenpeace activists broke into the GM wheat farm last Thursday and, armed with weed-trimmers, razed the experimental crop which had been modified to lower its glycaemic index and boost fibre.

Greenpeace says there are serious contamination issues with GM wheat and argues it has not been proven safe for human consumption, with major exporters including the European Union, Russia and Canada rejecting the crop.

The half-hectare CSIRO crop was intended for dough baking trials for feeding to rats and pigs, with an eye to human trials, though the agency would have to obtain a fresh licence to test the grain on people.



                                  PART 5

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   AUSSIE POLICE SHUT GREENPEACE HQ, SEIZE EVIDENCE

SOURCE:  The Associated Press, USA

AUTHOR:  

URL:     http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h0xFiyHEpchhWrconh9bMwDV2ndQ?docId=c968a257853c4c268f65d15d8604a890

DATE:    21.07.2011

SUMMARY: "Australian police shut down the Sydney offices of environmental group Greenpeace on Thursday after its activists destroyed a genetically modified wheat crop at an experimental farm run by the government. Police in Canberra, the Australian capital and the site of the experimental farm, said ?an amount of property was seized as evidence? during the Sydney raid and it will undergo forensic analysis. No arrests were made."

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AUSSIE POLICE SHUT GREENPEACE HQ, SEIZE EVIDENCE

SYDNEY (AP) ? Australian police shut down the Sydney offices of environmental group Greenpeace on Thursday after its activists destroyed a genetically modified wheat crop at an experimental farm run by the government.

Police in Canberra, the Australian capital and the site of the experimental farm, said ?an amount of property was seized as evidence? during the Sydney raid and it will undergo forensic analysis. No arrests were made.

Greenpeace activists, wearing mock hazard suits, scaled the fences of the experimental farm last Thursday and destroyed a crop of genetically modified wheat with brush cutters. The wheat has been altered to lower its glycemic index in an attempt to see if the grain could have health benefits such as improving blood glucose levels and lowering cholesterol.

Greenpeace says it took the drastic action because of concerns over health, cross-contamination and the secrecy surrounding experiments at the farm, which were to include the first human trials of the crop.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia?s national science agency, says the experimental crop did not introduce any new genes to the plants and was safe for humans. It says it had already fed the genetically modified wheat to rats and pigs.

Greenpeace?s head of campaigns, Steve Campbell, said the organization is ?assisting the police with their inquires.? However, Greenpeace will continue its campaign to put the spotlight on genetically modified wheat in Australia, he said.

?It?s a really important issue for Australia, for our environment, for our future,? Campbell said.