Protesters decontaminate the UK's last remaining GM potato trial
Indymedia, 7 July 2007
During the night of Friday 6th July, a group of activists converged on Britain's last remaining GM trial site just outside Cambridge. They scaled the security fences and destroyed the crop of genetically modified potatoes.
The potato plants were already flowering, spreading genetic contagion into the surrounding countryside.
A similar trial planned in Hull was abandoned earlier this year after a strong campaign and massive concern from nearby farmers. With the destruction of the Cambridge crop, Britain is once again GM free.
Public concern and demonstrations had failed to sway NIAB, the National Institute for Agriculture and Botany, who are carrying out the five-year trial on behalf of BASF, a multinational chemical corporation. Many feel that if corporations refuse to listen to public opinion it is necessary to take direct action.
Friday's action follows the latest in a series of protests, on the previous Sunday (July 1st), when demonstrators marched on the potato field. On that occasion, they were met by overwhelming numbers of police and two participants were arrested.
This time, however, no such obstacles were met, and the activists were able to successfully decontaminate the field.
If this trial had been allowed to run full term it could have led to a whole new generation of GM crop trials in this country. Friday night's events show that public concern about GM food and willingness to take direct action to keep Britain GM free remain high.