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Monday, 28 August, 2000, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Wales' only GM trial damaged
Field of GM crops at Sealand
Protestors have damaged Wales only GM trial
Genetically modified crops which are part of the only trial in Wales have been damaged in what is thought to be an attack by protesters.

Some of the stalks of GM maize at Birchenfield Farm at Sealand in Flintshire have been broken, and some of the conventional crops have also been damaged.

Farmer John Cottle, who owns the farm, said he believed the damage has been done deliberately.

GM farmer John Cottle
Farmer John Cottle: Minimal Damage

But he said the damage was minimal and he did not believe it would affect the trial.

The incident followed a protest at the farm by the group Custodians of the Land earlier this month.

Up to 100 protesters turned up to hand over a petition to Mr Cottle urging him to destroy his GM crop.

Meanwhile, green campaigners are calling on Flintshire council to follow Scotland's lead and use planning powers to end the GM crop trial at Sealand.

The Highland Council has temporarily stopped trials near Inverness claiming the landowner needed to get change of use permission as he was carrying out a scientific experiment.

Flintshire Council said it would be contacting the Scottish authority once a decision was made for more information.

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See also:

28 Aug 00 | Scotland
GM crops farmer in court battle
12 Aug 00 | Wales
GM protesters lobby farmer
24 May 00 | Wales
Wales on GM collision course
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