Anti-GM Vandals Destroy Crops

German and Australian activists opposed to genetically modified foods ruined experimental test beds of maize, wheat, and potatoes.

Tia Ghose
Jul 19, 2011

GMO cropsFLICKR, PETER BLANCHARD

On Saturday (July 15), three Australian Greenpeace activists wearing HazMat suits destroyed wheat plants genetically engineered for higher yields, better nitrogen metabolism and higher production of a blood-sugar friendly starch called amylose. In a statement, Greenpeace said they attacked CSIRO, a Canberra research institution running the plots, because it "is conducting the world's first human feeding trials of GM wheat, without adequate safety testing," ScienceInsider reports. The amylose-engineered wheat has been tested in animals and is slated for small human safety trials this year.

In an unrelated attack in Gross Lüsewitz, Northern Germany on July 9, six activists overpowered a security guard and ransacked test plots of fungus-resistant wheat. They also destroyed potatoes engineered to produce a chemical that may one day be used to make plastics. The fields, owned by the company Biovativ, were part of a government-funded trial.

Two days later, another...

Each of the attacks destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of plants.

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