French Anti-Biotech Vandals Jailed and Fined


In 2004, hundreds of anti-biotech vandals ripped up a field of genetically improved corn near Toulouse, France. At the time, anti-biotech poseur Jose Bove told reporters that the protesters were prepared to face the consequences. "This protest is legitimate and we did it to protect the consumer. We will assume the legal risks," he said.

Last week, a French court awarded the Dupont biotech seed subsidiary Pioneer Genetique damages of 58,819 Euros plus 5,000 Euros in legal costs. In addition, the court sentenced 8 of the vandals to jail for 2 to 4 months. The damages were taken from the bank account of one of the vandals. Pioneer Genetique is donating its award to the National Foundation for Soil Conservation Agriculture to study no-till agriculture. According to the Pioneer press release:

By making this donation to FNACS, Pioneer is demonstrating that this is not about money, but about principles—that farmers have a right to choose to plant products which offer benefits to their productivity, to the environment and to rural economies.

Perhaps Mr. Bove and his friends could ink some nifty tattoos during their stay in the cooler.

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  1. Can we at least admit that hatred of science is not limited to bible thumping intelligent design types? These guys are even worse. No one starves to death if evolution isn’t taught in schools.

    I will gladly join in bashing the intelligent designe types and the religious right. But to do that, I, or anyone else for that matter, ought to have to equally badmouth the Luddite environmentalist left.

  2. You know, I have ho idea how temporary tatoo work, but if illustration shows the way they look on a body, that’s another left-handed DNA (Hi, Ron Bailey’s illustrator!). Ditto for beaker mugs…

  3. No one starves to death if evolution isn’t taught in schools.

    Right now, you mean. Imagine, if the IDiots had their way and evolution weren’t taught again, ever. People would start starving to death, because nobody would want to be a geneticist.

    But, yes, hatred of science is another commonality between the God-botherers and the Karl Kissers. You go far enough in either direction you end up at the same place. SEE: Dworkinites & Falwellians vs pr0n.

  4. “a field of genetically improved corn”

    So… now it’s GI corn?

  5. The enviro-Luddites are the best argument for GM humans.

    BTW, John, there is a significant conservative component to the enviro-luddite movement, usually made up of what the Brits refer to as ‘upper-class twits’, who are anti-development because it brings the hoi-polloi into the places formerly reserved for the rich.

  6. Aresen,

    The real conservative paleo right and the marxist left are not far apart on most things.

  7. Question to all: has there ever been a group of pro-science-and-advancement terrorists?

    Many scientists are on record as saying the biggest threat to science comes not from the religious right but from the Earth-firsters coming from Liberal Arts colleges.

  8. Don’t forget about alternative medicine! That’s another topic that causes leftists to veer wide of “the scientific consensus” that they love to appeal to with respect to global warming, etc.

  9. John

    Very true. Marxists behave like aristocrats once they get into power – witness the stores reserved for high-ranking party members in the former Soviet Union, along with other privileges like country dachas, luxury apartments, etc.

  10. No one starves to death if evolution isn’t taught in schools.

    Well, rather than looking at evolution, how about HPV research? Women do get cervical cancer, and the cases caused by HPV are now preventable (assuming innoculation occurs before the start of sexual activity). I wouldn’t necessarily say that left-wing luddism is worse than their rightish cousins. I’d say they’re just about equally moronic, and equally damaging.

  11. Lunchstealer. My mother died of cervical cancer caused by HPV. Don’t get me started on the “I don’t want my child vacinated” freaks. A pox on all of their houses.

  12. What was cynical bastard talking about?

  13. If we could only isolate the gene that causes people to fear GM foods …


    From John Derbyshire today. More evidence of the left’s commitment to science. God these are dark times in which we live.

  15. John,

    What’s wrong with I scanned their topic-to-radical-topic crossreference:

    And with the occasional multi-culti froth, there’s some good positive stuff in there. If only the Pie Chart item said percent of “income” instead of “taxes”…

    ? Interest & Compound Interest
    o Making money through a Savings Account
    o Increasing debt on a Credit Card
    o Payday and Tax Refund Loans
    o Predatory Lending
    o Mortgage Payments
    o APR ? how it works, comparing different APR?s

    ? The Lottery
    o Study how the Lottery works, why it?s nearly impossible to win, and the economic damage it causes

    ? Small Business
    o By creating a number of algebraic inequalities that describe limits a business is working with (ie. time, supplies), you can graph multiple inequalities (or by using systems) to determine the number of products (x,y) to make that would maximize the profit

    ? Pie Graphs
    o Budgets ? Determining what percent of your taxes went to each branch of the government

  16. “genetically improved”

    Yeah, I’m a fan of biotech but I don’t like this phrase. It’s spin, not objective. “Genetically modified” or “genetically engineered” are accurate and perfectly fine. (“Genetically engineered using recombinant DNA technology” would be even better, since induced mutagenesis and other “conventional” techniques are certainly genetic modification, even if rarely rising to the level of engineering, but that’s just unwieldy and GM or GE is fine as shorthand.)

  17. You are right Kieth.

    There are a lot of multicultureal crap in it, but a lot of good stuff as you point out. I kind of took Derbyshire’s word for it. My mistake.

  18. John, Sorry to hear about your mom. I really am glad that the HPV vaccine will drastically reduce that in the future.

  19. Rimfax – sure. Except that Z-helix doesn’t look like anything depicted on the tattoo.

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