ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

29 April 2002


BBC news, Sunday, 28 April, 2002, 22:35 GMT 23:35 UK
Crop trials have sparked fierce debate in Scotland
A field of genetically modified crops in Scotland has been damaged by protesters for the third time in a week.

The latest attack at the controversial trial site at Munlochy in the Highlands happened between 0400 BST and 0800 BST on Sunday, police said.

It came less than 24 hours after five demonstrators were arrested on vandalism charges during an alleged breach of the peace at the same trial site.

Campaigners say more than half of the GM oilseed rape crop has now been destroyed.

The field at Roskill Farm on the Black Isle was also attacked between Saturday night and Sunday morning the previous weekend.

Five acres of the crop were damaged on that occasion and police inquiries are still continuing.

After the latest attack, the protesters said in a statement: "We have been forced to take responsibility for protecting the health and environment of our own community by the only course of action now open to us.

"Our action was peaceful and nobody was injured.

"That people are more afraid of GM crops than of being arrested by the police speaks for itself."

'Live laboratory'

The five demonstrators arrested after the second attack are due to appear at Dingwall Sheriff Court on Monday.

A police spokesman said three of those arrested were men, aged 21, 31 and 40 and the remaining two were women, aged 46 and 47.

The Scottish Executive has refused to ban GM trials, saying it would be contravening European law if it did so.

But Scottish National Party Leader John Swinney has accused ministers of treating Scotland as a "live laboratory" by permitting the field trials.

He cast doubt over the Executive's arguments that ministers had no legal grounds for banning the trials, during First Minister's Questions last week.


Earlier coverage:
1. Scotland on Sunday: Five arrests in second attack on GM crops
2. BBC News: Second attack on GM crop site
3. Yahoo News: Activists strike again at GM trial crop

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