GM crop protest brings court fine
Cambridge Evening News, 4 July 2007
DEFIANT protesters involved in a demonstration against the growing of genetically modified crops have appeared in court following incidents at a GM test site in Cambridge at the weekend.
David Cole, from Devon, was fined GBP85 with GBP75 costs at the city's magistrates' court after admitting a charge of criminal damage following his arrest for removing crop labels from potatoes at the NIAB site off Huntingdon Road.
Asked if he planned to carry on protesting, the photographer told District Judge Ken Sheraton he would "continue if it needed to be done."
After the case, the 26-year-old commented: "I drove all the way up from Devon because this is a very serious issue. Growing GM crops is completely unnecessary and unjustified. We already have organically produced potatoes which are blight-resistant. It doesn't take a child to work out this trial has ulterior motives."
A second protester, who has been campaigning against GM crops for 10 years, denied damaging a security fence during Sunday's protest.
Martin Shaw, 42, from Oxford, will stand trial later this summer but is adamant he will not comply with any penalties levelled at him over the issue of GM crops.
"Their fence is about as secure as their technology – the first bit of pressure and it collapses," he commented.
The protesters, who travelled from all over the country to try to enter the site – Britain's only test site of GM crops – claim the flowers will spread GM pollution into the Cambridgeshire countryside.
Shaw added: "These potatoes are flowering now, spreading GM pollution into the environment in Cambridgeshire and beyond.
"The damage this will do can never be reversed. The GM genie cannot be put back into the bottle."