More anti-GM activists acquitted by French court (13/1/2006)

More anti-GM activists acquitted by French court
Agence France Presse, January 12, 2006 [via agnet]

VERSAILLES, France - A group of activists who destroyed a crop of genetically modified (GM) maize in France in 2003 were, according to this story, acquitted Thursday by a Versailles court, bolstering the already widespread opposition in the country to such experimental plantations.

The nine people -- all members of the Farmers' Confederation previously headed by anti-globalisation campaigner Jose Bove -- were the second lot of activists to have charges against them dismissed in France.

A court in the central French city of Orleans last month acquitted 49 people who had been charged with organised vandalism for uprooting GM maize planted in France by the US biotechnology group Monsanto.

The judge said in that December case that the activists were justified in their action because "the unbridled distribution of modified genes... constitutes a clear and present danger for the well-being of others, in the sense that it could be the source of contamination and unwanted pollution."

Both decisions are now subject to appeals by state prosecutors.


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