If only they would criminalize crop tampering - tampering with natural reproduction - interfering with and negating somebody`s life work of seed saving.
Even on a small scale it's significant -- as Marcellino says, “The authorities look at that and say, `It’s corn, it’s two stalks of corn.` But it may be somebody’s life work. How do you measure the value of that?”
Bill to criminalize crop tampering gains important sponsor
ALBANY, N.Y. - A bill creating a new crime in New York of vandalizing crops has gained an important sponsor in the state Assembly. Assemblyman William Magee, chairman of the Assembly`s agriculture committee, said he has agreed to carry the measure. It was first introduced by state Sen. Carl Marcellino, a Nassau County Republican, in response to a July 2000 attack at an agricultural research field on Long Island in which vandals trampled what they believed to be genetically engineered corn.
“What you`ve done is destroy somebody`s life work and inhibited their ability to do their research,`` Marcellino said. ``The authorities look at that and say, `It`s corn, it`s two stalks of corn.` But it may be somebody`s life work. How do you measure the value of that?”
Currently, such acts are classified as misdemeanor criminal mischief. The Marcellino-Magee bill would create a new crime of criminal destruction of a field crop grown for personal, commercial or research purposes.
In the third degree, the new crime would be a Class E felony with possible imprisonment of up to four years in prison. If the value of the damage exceeds $10,000, the crime would become a Class D felony and violators could get up to seven years in prison." (AP)