GM Soy destroyed by protesters in Japan (28/7/2003)

RoundUp Ready Soybean was destroyed by protesters in Japan
Stop GM Seeds Network Japan
Katsumi Yamada
July 26,2003

GM soybean resistant to Roundup Ready herbicide grown by one farmer in Yawara, Ibaragi prefecture was plowed into soil and destroyed by one of the protesters this morning.

The RR soybean was planted in late May amid other crops on 20a plot as a demonstration field for the second consecutive year with the first year crop destroyed before flowering by Monsanto funded Bio-crops Association as part of agreement with concerned consumers and farmers after demostrating the crops' resistance to roundup ready herbicide.  The crop this year was planned to go as far as producing seeds but the opposition groups were demanding not to allow any pollen migration to conventional soybean grown neaby.

Almost 200 opposition group people demonstrated at the growing site on June 23rd when flower was begining to show up and they demanded to take action against the RR soybean from spreading any pollen or be destroyed. Mr.Nagatomo, the representative of the Bio-crops Association refused by saying that "the crop helps Japanese aging farmers  by greatly reducing work load and it is allowed to grow by the Agriculture Ministry."  Heated negotiation ensued involving the Ministry of Agriculture to solve dispute in a peaceful manner.

Some farmers seeing more and more flowers popping up in the next two days discussed and the grower agreed to cover the whole area with insect net on 25th. But this attempt failed hours after struggling with the strong wind. Then, they started to discuss that the crop be destroyed before too much flower produces pollen to attract insects. Talks between the two were continuing when one of the farmers started destroying the crop.

Mr. Nagatomo resented this act by saying that "this demonstration field has been open to public. The association will consider legal options."

This is the only plot grown with RR soybean in Japan this year according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Ibaragi prefecture prides its soybean products such as Natto (fermented soybean) with non GM soybean.

The police is now investigating for possible criminal case.

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