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Thursday, 15 March, 2001, 19:21 GMT
Bove sentenced for GM destruction
Jose Bove arriving at the courthouse
Bove has pledged to continue his campaign
French anti-globalisation campaigner Jose Bove has been sentenced for the destruction of genetically modified plants.

Members of Peasant Confederation
Mr Bove has attained folk hero status in France
A court in the southern French town of Montpellier gave the radical farmer a 10-month suspended sentence and put him on two years' probation.

Mr Bove and two colleagues destroyed 3,000 genetically modified rice plants at a research institute in June 1999.

The two others involved - both members of Mr Bove's radical Farmers' Confederation - were also given suspended sentences.

"The courts in Montpellier have shown yet again that they are supporters of genetically modified food," said Mr Bove after the sentencing.

"The justice system has not understood a thing about the dangers that face us all".

Mr Bove shot to fame after he attacked a McDonald's restaurant in his home town of Millau in protest at US trade restrictions, and has become a popular champion of environmental and farming issues.

He is currently appealing against a three-month jail sentence he received for the McDonald's incident.

Defiant

Mr Bove stood by his destruction of the rice plants during the hearing last month, telling the court that it was a "battle for the future".

"GMOs are a necro-technology. They are the result of technological tinkering," he said.

He has said he will appeal against the sentence and continue his campaign against genetic modification.

"No prison sentence or fine is going to prevent us from saying that genetically modified crops are dangerous," he said.

Mr Bove is now an international figurehead for the anti-globalisation movement and was a leading figure in the Seattle demonstrations.

He recently met Subcomandante Marcos, the leader of the Mexican Zapatista rebels.

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