Monsanto files suit against French GMO activists
REUTERS, October 19 2007
Oct 19 (Reuters) - The French unit of U.S. Biotech giant Monsanto has filed a lawsuit following the latest destruction of some of its test fields for genetically-modified maize. In a statement issued on Friday, Monsanto said that unidentified activists had ransacked three test fields in Valdivienne in central France after dark on Thursday.
'This senseless new act of violence penalises French research into biotech crops yet again and has no scientific basis,' Monsanto said.
It used a procedure in French law allowing legal action to be brought against unknown defendants.
Activists have ruined other Monsanto GMO test fields this year, prompting a series of official complaints which the company has said typically leads to court action.
Industry groups have denounced such attacks as disastrous for the country's agricultural research work.
Some farmers supportive of GMO crops have called on the government during government-led meetings on the environment to pass a GMO law as soon as possible, in part to stress the illegal nature of such activities.
Heated debate has surrounded the use of GMO products across Europe and in France, where many consumers and green groups doubt the safety of GMO products and fear that they will reduce biodiversity.