Police Use Tear Gas and Batons to Stop Pro-Biotech Crop Protesters


The Independent reports:

Growing tensions in France between opponents and supporters of genetically modified crops have led to violent confrontations.

Gendarmes used tear gas and batons to prevent pro-GM farmers from invading a picnic for militant opponents of genetically modified maize at the town of Verdun-sur-Garonne in south-west France over the weekend.

Hardly a day has gone by this summer without opponents of GM maize—both environmental campaigners and small farmers—invading fields and trampling or cutting down crops. The protesters, led by the small- farmers' leader, José Bové, claim a citizens' right to destroy crops which, they say, threaten ecological calamity and the subjection of farmers to the whims of agro-industrial, multinational companies.

There appears to be something of a double standard in French law enforcement here. Anti-biotech activists regularly destroy crops on private land and rarely get more than a slap on the wrist from authorities in Europe. (With the notable exception of activist Jose Bove who has served time in jail for his destructive activities.)

Whole Independent article about this sorry incident here.

Thanks to Alex Avery for the heads up.