Monsanto's French GM Maize Crop Attacked
Sat September 6, 2003 03:00 PM ET
PARIS (Reuters) - An experimental genetically modified (GM) maize crop in southern France, owned by U.S. seeds giant Monsanto, has been attacked and destroyed, police said on Saturday.
Police did not say who was behind the attack on the approximately half hectare field, isolated in a forest in Magnesq, but added that it had occurred a few hours after an anti-GM demonstration on Friday.
Another of Monsanto's GM fields, also in the southwest of France near Toulouse, was destroyed in July.
While GM crops are common in the United States, France and other European countries are dubious about using the new genetic technology in agriculture. France grows experimental GM crops on around 100 sites, all approved by the farm ministry.
Supporters say the crops could lead to the development of hardier strains to help feed the world's poor. Opponents say they could trigger an uncontrolled spread of modified genes, harming the environment and people's health.
GM DEMOCRACY - NATIONAL FARMERS UNION SPOKESPERSON IN CANADA
"In a real democracy, the government would say in the interests of the citizens that we don't want this. The fact is, GM technology has nothing to offer. It's like a doctor saying, "Here's a pill. It won't make you feel any better, and it might be bad for you." Who wants to swallow that? But Monsanto want it, and we don't have a real democracy."
NEW ZEALAND MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: 'GM industry falling apart worldwide'
"How many polls, protests and warning signs does it take...? The Government is not listening to science, to its own voters or to our overseas markets. Countries that embraced GM food in the mid-1990s were ignorant and careless. Countries that voluntarily give up their coveted GM-free status now are being deliberately and obstinately foolish."
CANADIAN FARMER ARNOLD TAYLOR ON GM
"The land forgives a lot. But this is a step too far. We play with nature at our peril. And Nature always bats last. She'll have the final say. We think we've got it sorted - but we've really no idea what we are doing."
"They tell us that GM food isn't bad for our health, but the jury may be out on that for years. And why should we believe them anyway? They told us GM would help farming, and it has brought nothing but trouble."
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