EXCERPT: France is home to a large and vocal anti-GMO lobby and around half of all GMO test fields are destroyed each year. Greenpeace published the fields' location in June, the day after a French court sentenced an anti-GMO activist to two months jail for destroying GMO fields in 2004 and 2005.
French court orders Greenpeace to withdraw GMO map
Reuters, Jul 26 2006
PARIS (Reuters) - A French court on Wednesday ordered Greenpeace to withdraw from its Web site information pinpointing fields of genetically modified (GMO) maize, a move the environmental group called censorship.
Ruling on a complaint filed by two farmers who feared their commercial GMO maize fields may be attacked after details were published on Greenpeace France's Web site, the Paris court said the group had violated the farmers' privacy and ordered the map to be removed.
Greenpeace said it would likely appeal the ruling. In the meantime, the maps may be moved to another Web site managed by Greenpeace International.
"We are considering other means to inform the public on where GMO fields are located," Arnaud Apoteker, head of Greenpeace France's GMO unit, told Reuters.
"So it's almost certain that we will put the map on another Greenpeace Web site," he said.
France is home to a large and vocal anti-GMO lobby and around half of all GMO test fields are destroyed each year. Greenpeace published the fields' location in June, the day after a French court sentenced an anti-GMO activist to two months jail for destroying GMO fields in 2004 and 2005.
GMO maize (corn) seeds were sown on around 5,000 hectares of French land for commercial sale this season, 10 times the area sown in 2005. Several biotech companies, including U.S. giant Monsanto, also carry out GMO experiments in open fields.
Under French law only the location of open-field experiments must be made public.
Greenpeace pointed to an EU law dating from 2001, not yet adopted into French legislation, requiring the location of all GMO fields, including commercial growing, to be made public.
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