Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Sunday, August 16, 1998 Published at 18:32 GMT 19:32 UK


Campaigners arrested at genetic crop protest

Genetically modified crops: Targetted by campaigners

Eleven campaigners have been arrested after genetically modified (GM) crops were uprooted from a Lincolnshire field.

Three members of the GenetiX Snowball group uprooted 10 sugar beet plants at Sharpe's Seeds Ltd in the village of Boothby Graffoe, near Lincoln, said a police spokesman.

Eight other members were found nearby and arrested for alleged criminal damage.

[ image: Soya beans: One of the most widely available GM foods]
Soya beans: One of the most widely available GM foods
The nine men and two women were part of a group of 30 environmentalists who had been protesting against genetically altering food.

Andrew Wood, spokesman for GenetiX Snowball, said the group believed that genetically engineering plants to make them more resistant to insects or disease was "unnecessary and unwanted".

He said that they wanted a five-year moratorium on GM technology in line with a recent poll which had suggested that three-quarters of people wanted the crops banned.

He added: "There are important environmental concerns - herbicides create a scorched earth area, damaging wildlife. Genes can also cross species, creating superweeds.

"Also, we don't know about the long-term health effects. GM crops are totally unnecessary."

[ image: Prince Charles: Spoken out against GM crops]
Prince Charles: Spoken out against GM crops
Genetically modified crops have been at the centre of a growing debate over the powers of the science.

The Prince of Wales has described genetically altering food as taking "mankind into realms that belong to God, and to God alone"

Organic farmers fear that cross-pollination from genetically altered crops will destroy their own produce but companies researching the technology say that the principles involved are no different from what farmers have done for thousands of years.

Food Safety Minister Jeff Rooker has insisted that the government has strict controls in place to protect both the general public and biodiversity.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Relevant Stories

12 Aug 98 | Health
Genetics scientist suspended

05 Jun 98 | Food Safety
Genetically modified food could pose unseen threat

10 Jul 98 | UK
Organic farmer fails in genetic challenge

08 Jul 98 | UK
Government advisors urge genetic crops ban

08 Jun 98 | Sci/Tech
Prince warns against genetic crops

Internet Links

Greenpeace campaign against genetically modified foods

Food Biotechnology Benefits

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online