Campaigner in Court After Final GM Crop Trashing (17/10/2007)

Campaigner in Court After Final GM Crop Trashing

Campaigner Martin Shaw, 43, will be in Cambridge Magistrate''s Court at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning facing charges of criminal damage. He was arrested while trying to destroy a GM test crop.

This was the only crop of GM potatoes being grown in the UK by chemicals giant BASF. The crop was destroyed subsequently, by persons unknown at night-time.

Mr Shaw was arrested while trying to scale the fence that encircled the trial site. He was taking part in an anti-GM rally and picnic with 50 other people, including local families. He is charged with causing criminal damage to the fence. The National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) test site was located between Girton and Histon, near Cambridge.

The trials were the first GM crops to enter British soil in nearly 3 years, after public opposition forced a U-turn in government and corporate plans for patented crops. Although presented as an R&D trial into the effectiveness of an anti-potato blight gene, they were widely considered to be a trial of public opinion.

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